ATK (NYSE: ATK) successfully completed the last Liberty space transportation system milestone under the company’s unfunded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA for the Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev-2).
The final milestone under the SAA was a Program Status Review (PSR) for the Liberty system. During the PSR, the Liberty team presented NASA with detailed progress of the program, including integrated master schedule, DAC cycle status, system requirements, software status, flight test plan, system safety review, ground processing certification plan and schedule for initial operation capability.
The CCDev-2 Liberty SAA enabled 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 completed five milestones and held three Technical Interchange Meetings, all on internal funding.
„It has been a privilege working with NASA to complete the SAA for the Commercial Crew program,” said Kent Rominger, ATK vice president and program manager for Liberty. „The feedback we received from the NASA Liberty team has helped further the development of the entire system and we believe ensures the program is on target for Liberty to provide a capable and safe commercial transportation to the International Space Station (ISS) by mid-decade.”
Currently, Liberty’s schedule includes unmanned test flights in 2014 and 2015, followed by the first crewed flight in late 2015 with Liberty astronauts. Commercial operational flights to take NASA astronauts to the ISS would begin in 2016.
ATK also hosted a Liberty Supplier conference the day following the PSR. This meeting, held in Florida, brought together more than 20 of Liberty’s major suppliers to support Liberty development activities.
„Our supply base is critical to Liberty’s success as we move quickly through development of the entire system,” said Rominger. „As a commercial program we need to ensure we are a strong team in order to provide the best service and grow a profitable business.”
Liberty is a complete commercial crew space system that includes a composite spacecraft, abort system, launch vehicle and ground and mission operations, all of which were designed from inception to meet NASA’s human-rating requirements. ATK is the prime contractor with Astrium and Lockheed Martin serving as major subcomponent providers. Additional subcontractors for Liberty include Safran/Snecma, Moog Inc., Honeywell, Astrotech Space Operations (ASTC), Aerojet, Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Teledyne Brown, Dynamic Concepts, Inc. and Hamilton Sundstrand.
The Liberty system team is located across 17 states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington. The commercial program will sustain thousands of jobs as well as bring approximately 600 new jobs across the country.