Jim Cast Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1779

)

December 15, 1995

Dom Amatore Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (Phone: 205/544-0031) RELEASE: 95-219 X-33 DRAFT COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT NOTICE ISSUED NASA has issued a draft Cooperative Agreement Notice for the design, fabrication and flight test of the X-33 advanced technology demonstrator -- the next step in development of a new generation of reusable launch vehicles that will dramatically reduce the cost of putting payloads into orbit. "We are seeking comments on the draft notice by Jan. 22, 1996, from industry and any other interested parties," said X-33 project manager Gene Austin. "We will consider these comments before issuing the actual Cooperative Agreement Notice in April 1996." The April notice will solicit proposals for a joint government and industry effort to demonstrate single-stageto-orbit technologies by means of the X-33. Three aerospace companies -- Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace and Rockwell International Corp. -- have been working with NASA since March on concept definition and design of the X-33 in Phase I of the program. NASA will select an industry partner to work with in Phase II, in which the X-33 will demonstrate vehicle reusability and operability concepts that assure low cost operations and rapid processing for reflight. Phase II will culminate in flight testing of the X-33, beginning in early 1999. "X-33 is an experimental program intended to determine if single-stage-to-orbit will work," Austin said. "It will give government and industry the means to decide by the end of this decade the feasibility of developing an operational next-generation reusable launch vehicle. That development, if it occurs, will be led by industry."

NASA and industry will share costs during Phase II of the X-33 program, with NASA budgeting a total of over $900 million in expenditures through 1999. The amount its industry partner will invest is to be determined. -more-2Industry proposals will be due mid-May 1996, and NASA expects to select its industry partner by July, subject to approval from the White House to proceed into this next phase of the X-33 program. The X-33 draft Cooperative Agreement Notice is available in the NASA Acquisition Internet Service at: http://procure.msfc.nasa.gov.

-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 pressrelease" (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.