Boeing has announced its team to compete for the production contract for NASA’s Ares I crew launch vehicle upper stage
. The Ares I rocket will launch the Orion crew exploration vehicle to the International Space Station from 2015 and by 2020 to low Earth orbit to dock with a trans-lunar injection module for Moon missions.
Above: NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle's upper stage carries Orion
Boeing’s team includes Hamilton Sundstrand
, Northrop Grumman
and lean manufacturing practices partner Moog. Orion Propulsion
, a small, woman-owned aerospace company is another partner, along with tribally-owned logistics business Chickasaw Nation Industries
and SUMMA Technology
, a small manufacturing company. Two consortia which include Boeing, United Launch Alliance
and United Space Alliance
, are also in the team.
Boeing’s group is competing against the Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne team. Alliant Techsystems is developing the Ares I first stage, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is providing engines for the Ares I and Lockheed will build the Orion capsule that sits atop the rocket.