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NASA signs agreement with t/Space

Published by Ekkehard on Fri Feb 2, 2007 12:48 pm
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NASA signs agreement with t/Space
02/01/2007

RESTON, VA — Feb. 1, 2007 — Transformational Space Corp. (t/Space) today announced it has signed a Space Act agreement with NASA to facilitate the company’s development of affordable transportation of passengers and cargo to and from Earth orbit.

Under the agreement, NASA will provide information about the agency’s projected commercial demand for crew and cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as technical know-how regarding how commercial vehicles can rendezvous and dock with the ISS. The agency also will monitor t/Space’s development program via quarterly meetings.

“We applaud NASA for its innovative thinking on how to foster relationships with businesses that are committed to expanding the human frontier into space,” said Charles Duelfer, t/Space Chief Executive Officer. “We are moving forward with our development plans and the Space Act Agreement allows us to share our progress with NASA.”

In 2006, t/Space was one of six finalists in NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition for development funding, out a field of more than 20 companies. The company proposed a three-person spacecraft that will carry 2,000 lbs. of cargo to the ISS, or to commercial space habitats now under development. t/Space plans an innovative approach in which its spacecraft and the accompanying booster will be released from a carrier aircraft over ocean to enhance safety, increase responsiveness and reduce costs. Development is expected to culminate with a crewed flight to orbit in late 2010.

AirLaunch LLC of Kirkland, WA, will provide the air-launched booster to t/Space, leveraging the development of its QuickReach” Small Launch Vehicle currently under way. To further minimize technical and programmatic risk and to reduce cost, t/Space’s spacecraft incorporates the reentry capsule shape used by return capsules from U.S. Corona reconnaissance satellites in the 1960s and uses a pilot instead of automated systems to rendezvous and dock with ISS and planned commercial habitats.

“We have an innovative technical design solution that enables a safer path to orbit for passengers and a cost-effective way to deliver cargo,” said t/Space vice president and former astronaut Jim Voss. “We have put together a great team of experienced space engineers and aerospace companies to build our cargo and crew delivery solution.”

In 2005, t/Space completed a $6 million NASA contract to assist the agency’s evaluation of strategies and methods for implementing the return to the Moon as part of NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration. In addition to economic and engineering analyses, t/Space built and field-tested hardware for its planned Crew Transfer Vehicle (CXV), including several successful drop tests of a mockup from Scaled Composites’ Proteus aircraft over the Mojave desert.

t/Space

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