Boeing Submits GOES R Proposal To NASA For Two Satellites

The Boeing Co. [BA] submitted a proposal to NASA to produce two next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, known as the GOES R series, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The company received a GOES R risk-reduction contract from NASA in 2005.

Boeing builds on its experience as the prime contractor for the current series of geosynchronous environmental satellites, GOES N, O and P. The GOES N program series consists of three state-of-the-art imaging spacecraft and the supporting ground command and control elements.

The GOES N satellite, known as “GOES-13,” was launched on a Boeing Delta IV rocket on May 24, 2006. GOES-13 was handed over to the customer following six months of testing administered by NOAA’s Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Md. GOES O is scheduled to launch later this year.

Boeing To Mentor Orion Propulsion Inc. On Ares 1 Rocket Project

The Boeing Co. [BA] and Orion Propulsion Inc. signed a government-sponsored mentor-prot�g� agreement to work together on the next-generation Ares I rocket being developed for NASA.

Ares 1 will boost the future Orion crew exploration capsule into space, with manned flights beginning in 2015, half a decade after the space shuttle fleet stops flying in October 2010.

The one-year agreement was signed today at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., marking the first mentor-prot�g� agreement this year in support of a major NASA contract.

The mentor program pairs large companies with eligible small businesses to enhance the prot�g�s’ capabilities and enable them to successfully compete for larger, more complex prime contract and subcontract awards.

Boeing subcontracted more than $5 billion of work to small and diverse businesses in 2007, the company announced.

OPI is a small, woman-owned aerospace company located near Marshall Space Flight Center. It provides propulsion engineering, test, verification, qualification and production expertise to NASA as well as to several civil, defense and commercial partners. OPI currently supports Boeing on Ares I reaction control system (RCS) development. Potential future activities include integration of flight hardware, production of test equipment, tooling and provision of technical-support services. The RCS includes multiple small rocket engines and their supporting subsystems to provide control over the orientation of the Ares I (first stage and upper stage) during its ascent to orbit.

Boeing is under contract to NASA to produce the Ares I upper stage and instrument unit avionics. It will build the upper stage at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans late next year.

“Boeing will help Orion with much of their internal training to deal with propulsion system processes and items needed in producing the RCS for Ares I,” said Ray Robin, a supplier management official in Boeing’s Exploration Launch Systems group. “We will also share some of our best Lean manufacturing practices with them to ensure they have efficient production processes.” Boeing will also provide support with business development, human resources and supply chain management.

Navy Gives Raytheon $17.8 Million NATO Sea Sparrow Contract

The Navy gave Raytheon Co. [RTN] a $17.8 million contract for the NATO Sea Sparrow missile program, the company announced.

Raytheon will provide the MK57, MK29 and MK73 Sea Sparrow missile systems for the Navy and the NATO Sea Sparrow Project Office.

Under the contract, Raytheon will assemble, test, and deliver components and support for the systems, which enable critical self-defense capabilities for U.S. and allied navy surface ships.

The upgraded MK57 weapon integrates commercial off-the-shelf hardware for processing and displays, state-of-the-art microprocessors for signal processing, and new solid-state transmitter technology.

That contract includes procuring, assembling, testing and delivering ordnance alteration kits for the MK57 Mod 13 NSSMS, MK29 Mod 4 launcher and MK73 Mod 3 solid-state transmitter. Raytheon also will provide associated spares and data for the systems.

Work will be performed at Portsmouth, R.I., and Andover, Mass.; Raytheon Canada Ltd. at Waterloo, Canada; Miller Stuart Inc., Long Island, N.Y.; and Kuchera Defense Systems at Windber, Pa.

Changes made on U.S. naval aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships are due, in part, to accommodate the replacement of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile as a primary self- defense weapon with the ESSM (RIM-162) on these ships.

The Canadian Navy, also transitioning to the ESSM on its Halifax-class of ships, plans to make changes to its supporting sensor systems as part of its Halifax modernization program.

Raytheon is part of a team, led by General Dynamics Corp. [GD] unit General Dynamics Canada, currently competing for that project.

Raytheon Gains $56.9 Million NASA Contract Change For Astronaut Training

NASA gave Raytheon Co. [RTN] a $56.9 million contract change to continue supporting astronaut training, which could increase to $78.3 million if a one-year extension beyond 2010 is exercised.

Raytheon Technical Services Co. will support facilities and operations for astronaut training at Johnson Space Center and Sonny Carter Training Facility in Houston.

The extension, part of an indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract, supports operations at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and Space Vehicle Mockup Facility.

The contract extension, which begins tomorrow and ends Sept. 30, 2010, includes a one-year pre-priced option that could increase the contract value to $78.3 million.

Sept. 30, 2010, is the deadline for retiring the space shuttle fleet, a mandated move that will mean the United States will have no means of transporting its astronauts to low Earth orbit, such as to the International Space Station, for half a decade until the next-generation Orion-Ares space system begins manned missions.

However, many members of Congress want to shrink that half-decade gap, both by extending shuttle missions past the Sept. 30, 2010, retirement deadline, and by accelerating the first Orion-Ares manned flight to 2013, instead of the now-envisioned 2015.

Raytheon has about 70 employees supporting those training programs, an operation that provides zero gravity or partial gravity training to astronauts in shuttle and space station programs.

Raytheon also supports other engineering activities at Johnson.

NASA Gives University of Alaska Contract To Manage Center

NASA gave the University of Alaska at Fairbanks a contract to manage and operate an Earth observation center.

The university will run the Earth Observing System Data and Information System Synthetic Aperture Radar Distributed Active Archive Center for $39 million over five years, under the cost, no-fee contract.

The archive center handles collecting, processing, archiving, distributing and supporting science data from, but not limited to, Synthetic Aperture Radar satellites.

Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Science Data and Information System Project in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for providing access to data from the Earth science program to scientific and other users.

General Dynamics Gains $166.4 Million Army Order For Hydra-70 Rockets; Total Award Could Reach $900 Million Over Five Years Under Options

The Army gave General Dynamics Corp. [GD] a $166.4 million contract to produce 2.75-inch Hydra-70 rockets.

That latest order is part of a 2005 contract with General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products that could mount to a total $900 million over five years.

Hydra-70 is a family of unguided rockets offering several warhead configurations that enable an aircrew to match the rocket to the specific mission.

Rockets can be fired from a variety of rotary and fixed-wing platforms, including the Army Apache and Marine Corps Cobra attack helicopters, the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon strike fighter plane and combat aircraft of many nations worldwide.

System engineering and program management will be performed at the General Dynamics Burlington Technology Center in Vermont. Final assembly and component sub-assembly will occur at Camden, Ark.

L-3 Communications Gets $49 Million NASA Contract

NASA gave L-3 Communications [LLL] a five-year, $49 million contract for simulation and software technology support at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The contract provides support to the Johnson Automation, Robotics and Simulation Division.

That covers areas including virtual reality for training and simulation activities, simulation environments, analysis and applications, systems engineering and vehicle subsystem management, and guidance, navigation and control simulation.

The work supports development and operations of the space shuttle, International Space Station and Constellation programs.

The performance period for the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract begins May 1 and will be completed April 30, 2013.