Kelly Space & Technology Wins $2.1 Million NASA Contract.
Kelly Space & Technology Inc. has been awarded a $2.1 million contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to continue work on the next phase of a study that will focus on the development of space transportation through the year 2030.
Under the three-month contract, Kelly Space will develop approaches to meet NASA's future space flight requirements from the year 2000 through the year 2030, while assuring safety, reliability and substantial cost savings.
"Kelly Space's selection by NASA to participate in this transportation architecture study is a very strong affirmation of our company's mission to commercially provide the safest, most reliable, cost efficient and responsive transportation to our customer's orbits," said Bob Davis, the company's president/CEO.
Kelly Space is a commercial reusable space transportation systems development and operations company, which was founded in 1993 by Michael Kelly and Michael Gallo. The company has headquarters at the San Bernardino International Airport, the former Norton Air Force Base, in Southern California.
Kelly Space is known for its patented, commercially-funded, reusable Tow Launch Technology and Astroliner reusable launch vehicle (RLV), which is under development.
NASA will incorporate Kelly Space's findings into its Integrated Space Transportation Plan, which will be presented to the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. around Oct. 1, and in an update on Dec. 1.
The plan is intended to identify and define NASA's five-year investment strategy that will enable a low-risk, highly competitive selection of a new space transportation architecture by the year 2005.
According to Michael Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer, "Kelly Space & Technology Inc. is pleased to have been chosen as a prime contractor for NASA's Space Transportation Architecture Study. STAS has been described as 'the future of NASA.' We take the responsibility of making a comprehensive, objective contribution to that future very seriously.
"As leader of a team of established and emerging aerospace firms, we are committed to directly conveying the diverse ideas of our team members," Kelly said, "and to synthesizing innovative approaches at every opportunity.
"Kelly Space's experience in STAS Phase II, and in leading the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee's Reusable Launch Vehicle Working Group, will prove invaluable to this process," he said.
Kelly is chairman of the COMSTAC RLV Working Group and an industry representative on the COMSTAC, which meets bi-monthly in Washington, D.C. to discuss flight safety and regulations for RLVs with the Federal Aviation Administration and its Space Transportation component.
"As a team, we are honored to be included in so important a study," Kelly said, "and dedicate ourselves to providing the best possible product to NASA."
Kelly Space has invited other RLV companies to join its team on this contract to add their respective technological concepts and entrepreneurial innovations to further NASA's objectives.
Participants on the Kelly Space team for this contract include: Pioneer Rocketplane, Solvang, Calif.; HMX Inc., parent company of Rotary Rocket, Reno, Nev.; and Universal Space Lines (USL), Newport, Calif., founded by the late astronaut Pete Conrad. USL also will handle operations technology on the contract.
United Space Alliance, of Houston, Texas, which is responsible for operations of the current Space Shuttle for NASA, will provide its Shuttle operations expertise to the Kelly Space team on the contract.
Other firms Kelly Space has selected to be on its team for this contract include: TRW Strategic Systems Division with offices in San Bernardino, Calif., ground and flight operations support; ECON Inc., Huntington Beach, Calif., cost analysis; and Digital Empire, an animation and visualization firm based in Riverside, Calif., communications integration for project deliverables and multimedia presentations.
Program manager for Kelly Space's STAS Phase III contract is Jim Hollopeter. He also managed the company's STAS Phase II contract.
Last September, Kelly Space was awarded a $1 million contract by NASA to perform a STAS to develop approaches to meet NASA's future human space flight requirements with significant reductions in cost.
Kelly Space concluded in its report that NASA could save an estimated $10 billion over the life of the International Space Station, starting in 2006, by having an Astroliner derivative and separate crew and cargo modules take over the Space Shuttle's space station resupply and crew transfer duties.
According to Michael Gallo, executive vice president and chief operating officer, "This new contract from NASA integrates well into our current and future technology development activities. Kelly Space is proceeding with its incremental development program, and continues to make steady progress on sub-scale vehicle configurations and highly innovative propulsion system technology developments, all of which support Kelly Space's family of vehicles."
Two grants awarded earlier this year to Kelly Space from the State of California Trade and Commerce Agency are helping to advance the company's RLV development efforts.
In April, Kelly Space won a Highway to Space grant of nearly $200,000 from the Western Commercial Space Center by the state agency's Office of Strategic Technology to identify and assess candidate spaceport sites within California from which to base and operate RLVs.
In June, Kelly Space was awarded a California Space Flight Technology grant of $150,000 to begin developing a Systems Integration Laboratory to initially define software requirements for the company's Astroliner RLV. This grant is administered through the California Space and Technology Alliance, the state's designated Spaceport Authority.
As Kelly Space's flagship vehicle, the piloted Astroliner will provide a cargo delivery service centered initially around deployment of satellites, and, in later generation vehicles, enabling the general public to travel in space.
With Kelly Space's Tow Launch Technology, the company will use a modified Boeing 747 to tow the Astroliner from conventional airports anywhere around the globe to its "launch site" at 20,000 feet of altitude.
Kelly Space successfully demonstrated its Tow Launch Technology during all six flight demonstrations conducted with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Edwards, Calif. The demonstrations were conducted in December 1997 through February 1998 under a Small Business Innovation Research contract awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory.