US Air Force Issues 10th and Final Booster Propulsion Technology Maturation BAA Award – Satellite Today

Atlas 5 RD-180

An Atlas 5 rocket with the RD-180 engine. Photo: U.S. Air Force

[Via Satellite 01-28-2016] The U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) released the last award notice Jan. 27 under the Booster Propulsion Technology Maturation Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation. The purpose of the BAA is to support technology maturation and risk reduction for rocket propulsion system development with the ultimate goal of effectively transitioning away from the Russian-built RD-180 engine currently used on the Atlas 5 rocket.

The recipients of the 10 awards are Johns Hopkins University, Tanner Research, Moog, Orbital ATK, Aerojet-Rocketdyne, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Arctic Slope Technical Services and Northrop Grumman. Johns Hopkins University received two contracts under the BAA. The Air Force’s investments are focused on material manufacturing and development for the purpose of reducing the cost of future engines, and on advanced technologies to improve future engines.

“Many programs focus on risk reduction efforts too late to make a difference. By leading off this program with these awards, we have given industry tools to help ready themselves for developing launch systems, including the associated propulsion systems, that we will rely on to launch the nation’s satellites in the future,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the Air Force’s program executive officer for space and SMC commander. ”This is essential in order to solidify U.S. assured access to space, transition the [Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle] EELV program away from strategic foreign reliance, and support the U.S. launch industry’s commercial viability in the global market.”

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