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Jim Cast

Headquarters, Washington, DC January 12, 1995


(Phone: 202/358-1779)

Dom Amatore
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
(Phone: 205/544-6533)

RELEASE: 95-1

REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE NOTICES ISSUED

NASA today issued two Cooperative Agreement Notices


(CANs) requesting proposals for the development of
technology demonstrators for a Reusable Launch Vehicle
(RLV) program.

The goal of the RLV technology program is the


continued lowering of the cost of access to space to
promote the creation and delivery of new space services and
other activities that will improve economic
competitiveness. The Program will implement the recently-
released National Space Transportation Policy, specifically
Section III, paragraph 2(b): "Research shall be focussed
on technologies to support a decision, no later than
December 1996, to proceed with a sub-scale flight
demonstration which would prove the concept of single-stage
to orbit."

Sponsored by NASA's Office of Space Access and


Technology (OSAT), the "X-34" CAN is intended to: (1)
stimulate the joint industry/Government-funded development
of a small reusable, or partially-reusable, booster that
has potential application to commercial launch vehicle
capabilities and which will provide significantly reduced
mission costs for placing small payloads into a low Earth
orbit and, (2), demonstrate technologies that have
application to future reusable launch vehicle systems.
Some of these technologies may be demonstrated as a part of
the basic booster design and some through test bed
application of the booster for demonstration of alternate
technologies.
The development schedule should support flight tests
beginning in late-1997, orbital launch by mid-1998 and test
bed applications later in 1998. Offerers must submit
proposals in response to this CAN by Feb. 24, 1995. NASA
may fund one or more proposals and industry cost-sharing
contributions will be required to match on a cumulative
basis, as a minimum, the NASA funds provided directly to
the offerer under the resulting Cooperative Agreement. The
current expected NASA program funding for the X-34, through
FY 1999, is $70 million.

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The second CAN released today is intended to stimulate


the joint industry/government co-funded concept definition
and design of a technology demonstrator vehicle, designated
the "X-33," followed by the design/demonstration of a
competitively selected concept or concepts.

The X-33 must adequately demonstrate the key design


and operational aspects of a reusable space launch system
so as to reduce the risk of developing such a commercially-
viable launch system.

The performance period for Phase I, the concept


definition/design phase, is 15-months. The results of
Phase I will provide the basis for a White House decision
on whether or not to proceed with Phase II, which includes
design, building and flight demonstration of the X-33.
Pending the decision to proceed, Phase II would initiate by
the end of FY 1996 and continue through the end of the
decade. The results of Phase II would be utilized by the
Government and private sector to decide whether or not to
proceed with development of an operational next-generation
reusable launch system.

Offerers must submit proposals for Phase I/X-33


activities by Feb. 24, 1995. Multiple awards for Phase I
are planned during which each participant shall mature its
total X-33 business investment strategies and planning,
operations planning and vehicle design and analysis with
detail sufficient to permit competitive selection of
industry partner(s) and their X-33 design concept(s) at the
end of the period.
Significant cost-sharing by industry is anticipated
during Phase I. Although no minimum percentage is
specified for Phase I, NASA reserves the right to specify
minimum sharing requirements for Phases II and III.
Current expected funding by the government during Phase I
(in FY 1995) is $18 million. As a guide for the
preparation of proposals, the potential level of government
funding estimated to be available through FY 1999 for the
X-33 is approximately $650 million.

Participation in this program is open to all


categories of organizations, both domestic and foreign.
Organizations include large businesses, small businesses,
small disadvantaged businesses, educational institutions,
non-profit organizations, NASA Centers and Federal, State
and local government agencies.

The Office of Space Access and Technology conducts


space research and development through sponsorship of
technology programs conducted at NASA Field Centers, in
U.S. industry, and in American universities. The OSAT
Space Transportation Division supports these activities by
sponsoring the development of the next generation RLV
technologies. NASA's RLV Technology Program will
accelerate the development and application of new space
launch

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technologies and operational concepts to contribute to the


continuing commercialization of the national space launch
industry.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of both CANs are available for


review in the NASA Headquarters and Marshall Space Flight
Center Newsrooms (phones: 202/358-1600 and 205/544-0034,
respectively). Further administrative and contractual
information may be obtained from the Marshall Space Flight
Center, Huntsville, AL, at 205/544-0381. Additional
technical information may be obtained, also from Marshall,
at 205/544-0366. The CANs are available over the internet
world wide web at
"http://sunwks.msfc.nasa.gov/coop/coophome.html"

NASA press releases and other information are available


automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail
message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message
(not the subject line) users should type the words
"subscribe press-release" (no quotes). The system will
reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription.
A second automatic message will include additional
information on the service. Questions should be directed
to (202) 358-4043.