ATK (NYSE: ATK) completed its Liberty software technical interface meeting (TIM), which was held to support further development of the Liberty space transportation system under the company’s Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA for the Commercial Crew Development Program.
The software TIM was conducted to evaluate Liberty’s software development plan with the NASA Liberty team. The plan governs the software process used by Liberty and its subcontractors throughout development, integration, test and flight.
„Understanding how your system will work together throughout the mission is critical in reducing risk and schedule delays,” said Kent Rominger, ATK Vice President and Program Manager for Liberty. „Holding this TIM provides us valuable insight into expertise provided by the NASA team and ensures there are no issues we are overlooking.”
The development of software is critical for understanding the entire system to support Liberty’s test flights. Unmanned test flights are scheduled for 2014 and 2015, followed by the first crewed flights in 2015 with Liberty astronauts.
The TIM was held this month at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.’s Boulder campus and the Lockheed Martin Waterton facility near Denver. The team also toured both facilities, including the integration and test laboratories where Liberty’s flight and ground software will be checked out prior to its test flights.
Team members involved with Liberty’s software development include ATK (first stage and ground support equipment (GSE)), Lockheed Martin (spacecraft subsystem support, launch vehicle ascent control and spacecraft GSE), Ball Aerospace ((Situation Awareness Fault Evaluation (SAFE) and Subsystems)), Astrium (second stage) and L3 Communications Cincinnati Electronics (Integrated Avionics and Flight Safety Systems), and Teledyne Brown (cargo carrier).
The CCDev-2 Liberty unfunded SAA enables NASA and the Liberty team to share technical information related to the Liberty Transportation System during the preliminary design review phase of the program. ATK has completed four milestones and held three TIMs, all on internal funding. The fifth and final milestone under the agreement is schedule for July.
„This SAA with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has enabled us to further advance development as we receive valuable feedback from a team of experienced human space flight experts,” said Rominger. „As a result, we are able to offer a complete commercial crew service, and provide safe, reliable, cost-effective crew transportation to low Earth orbit.”
ATK announced last month it had developed Liberty into a complete commercial crew transportation system, including the Liberty composite spacecraft, abort system, launch vehicle and ground and mission operations, all designed from inception to meet NASA’s human-rating requirements.
Additional subcontractors for Liberty include Safran/Snecma, Moog Inc., Honeywell, Astrotech Space Operations (ASTC), Aerojet, Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Dynamic Concepts, Inc. and Hamilton Sundstrand. More information on the Liberty system can be found at www.libertyspace.us