Dwayne Brown Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1600

)

February 23, 1995

Fred Brown Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (Phone: 301/286-7277) RELEASE: 95-16 NASA AWARDS $481.6 MILLION CONTRACT TO HUGHES NASA has awarded Hughes Aircraft Co., Los Angeles, CA, a contract to design, build and checkout on-orbit three Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) satellites. The competitive firm-fixed-price contract, valued at $481,641,325, will become effective immediately and run through Feb. 28, 2008. The contract will provide for three spacecraft under the TDRS replenishment program, including Ka-band communications services, as well as any necessary modifications to the two TDRS ground terminals at the White Sands Complex, NM. The contract which also includes the management, development, integration and test, shipment, launch support, and operations support of the spacecraft, marks the first time NASA has used a new and innovative procurement method to maximize the quality and reliability of NASA hardware. In the past, NASA developed detailed specifications which contractors were required to meet. For this procurement, NASA adopted commercial practices, identifying requirements and allowing offeror's flexibility in determining how to meet those requirements. "During the competition, offerors also had to propose a payback schedule. Historically, in many case contractors were not held accountable for failures. This time, in the event of a spacecraft failure, NASA will be reimbursed. This commercial practice will save NASA money and ensure that taxpayers get their money's worth," said Charles

Force, Associate Administrator for Space Communications.

-more-2The contract will directly support NASA's TDRS System by continuing the present function of the existing TDRS spacecraft through replenishment of the existing fleet beginning in 1999. The TDRS provides the only existing means of continuously communicating with orbiting spacecraft at high data rates, a capability required by nearly all low Earth-orbiting spacecraft including the Space Shuttle. NASA's Office of Space Communications, Washington, DC, is responsible for overall program management of the TDRS System. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, manages the operation of the TDRS System. -endNASA 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.