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t/Space proposes CXV

Published by Robin on Mon May 9, 2005 7:21 pm
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from Space News Business Monday
By Brian Berger, Staff Writer
t/Space Offers an Option for Closing Shuttle, CEV Gap

Transformational Space Corp. (t/Space), a company founded in response to the new U.S. vision for space exploration, thinks it can help NASA close the gap between retiring the space shuttle fleet and fielding a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to carry astronauts beyond Earth’s orbit.

The Reston, Va.-based company already already convinced NASA to give it $6 million in exchange for advice on how the U.S. space agency can reach beyond the traditional aerospace industry to answer a presidential call to return to the Moon by 2020. Now t/Space is hoping to convince NASA to part with $400 million in exchange for an Earth-to-orbit crew transfer vehicle, which company executives say they can have ready in 2008.

NASA’s current plan calls for retiring the space shuttle by the end of 2010 and flying the CEV with humans on board for the first time in 2014. However, NASA’s new administrator, Mike Griffin, has called the potential four-year gap between shuttle and CEV unacceptable and vowed to take steps to close or at least minimize it.

The t/Space team thinks it can help NASA avoid a gap altogether and wants a chance to prove it. The t/Space team insists that is no hollow promise, and points to the quality of the people on their team, which includes famed aircraft designer Burt Rutan, who made history in 2004 as the builder of the first privately financed piloted spacecraft, and Brett Alexander, a former official with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who helped shape the development of the new vision President George W. Bush gave NASA last year for future exploration.

Transformational Space is the brainchild of serial space entrepreneurs David Gump and Gary Hudson, who respectively serve as the company’s president and chief designer. The pair started the company in early 2004 to respond to a NASA call for ideas on how it might go about returning to the Moon in preparation for human missions to Mars and beyond.

Story continued at Space News Business Monday

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