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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NASA Awards Contracts for Design Study of Lunar Landing Craft

HOUSTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Constellation
Program has selected five space-related companies to receive contract
awards for a 210-day study to independently evaluate NASA's in-house design
concept for a lunar lander that will deliver four astronauts to the surface
of the moon by 2020.

The awards total approximately $1.5 million, with a maximum individual
award of $350,000. The study recommendations will be used to increase the
technical maturity of the existing design in preparation for the
development of vehicle requirements.

The Constellation Program is building NASA's next generation fleet of
spacecraft -- including the Ares I and Ares V rockets, the Orion crew
capsule and the Altair lunar lander -- to send humans beyond low Earth
orbit and back to the moon. NASA plans to establish a human outpost on the
moon through a successive series of lunar missions.

"These studies will provide valuable input for developing a sound set
of requirements for the Altair lunar lander," said Jeff Hanley, the
Constellation Program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
"Industry collaboration will provide insight for our planning and early
design efforts for the spacecraft."

The selected companies are Andrews Space of Seattle, The Boeing Co. of
Houston, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver, Northrop Grumman
Corporation of El Segundo, Calif., and Odyssey Space Research of Houston.

The companies will evaluate the current in-house design, propose safety
improvements and recommend industry-government partnering arrangements.

The Constellation Program is based at Johnson and manages the Altair
Project for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Washington.

For more information about NASA's Constellation Program, visit:

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