Andrews Space Reveals Cargo Vehicle Design Work
SEATTLE - Andrews Space today disclosed details of its Andrews Cargo Module, a cargo logistics system capable of addressing NASA's International Space Station (ISS) cargo logistics requirements, as well as the needs of emerging customers like Bigelow Aerospace and the Department of Defense.
The Andrews Cargo Module is a reusable spacecraft capable of delivering 3.7 metric tons of cargo to and from the ISS. It is comprised of a common Service Module, a Pressurized (PCM) or Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM), and a Recovery Module. This modular approach allows the system to cost-effectively address a wide range of mission requirements and customers.
The Cargo Module incorporates design features and system elements from previous efforts into a low-risk cargo module design. Andrews previously worked on crew and cargo logistics systems under contract to NASA as part of the Alternate Access to Station (AAS) and Concept Exploration and Refinement efforts. In 2005, Andrews developed a full-scale mockup of its design for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) to verify internal packaging for both crew and cargo transport. This mockup was transferred to NASA Johnson Space Center and has been used by NASA to conduct Orion design studies.
"One of the lessons learned from AAS is that the launch vehicle cost drives the life cycle cost of the system," said Jason Andrews, President of Andrews Space. "While our cargo module can be launched on an EELV, we've developed a low-cost launch system to make the system affordable and enable new markets."
The Cargo Module will be launched by Andrews' Hercules family of launch vehicles. Hercules is a medium- to intermediate-lift system, built around a LOX/RP core stage, capable of launching payloads between 5,000 and 25,000 lb to LEO. The Hercules launch vehicle provides commercial and U.S. Government customers with a responsive, cost-effective replacement for the Delta II, and will reduce the life cycle cost of cargo logistics services when compared to using EELVs.
In November, Andrews submitted a proposal to NASA as part of the COTS recompete. Partners in the COTS proposal include MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Reynolds Smith and Hills (RS&H), Draper Laboratory, Odyssey Space Research, Aerojet, Irvin Aerospace, and ILC Dover.
During the past year, a team of engineers has been engaged in developing the system design and maturing subsystems. In October, Andrews acquired an avionics and guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) company that will provide the fault-tolerant avionics and power subsystems. Andrews has several other funded research and development efforts that are demonstrating critical cargo module subsystems and technologies.
To further verify system performance, the Andrews team constructed a full-scale mockup of the PCM to assess cargo packaging and crew interfaces. Specific focus areas included early and late cargo access, ground operations, crew lighting, and on-orbit operations. These efforts have validated the system requirements, configuration, and performance in support of a System Requirements Review in early 2008.
Andrews' strong and diverse revenue base incorporates customers in business areas including systems development and integration, subsystem and component development, technology development, and engineering services. Customers and programs include SE&I support of NASA's Ares I and Orion programs, Department of Defense technology and vehicle development programs, and commercial hardware development, including hardware currently flying on Bigelow's Genesis II spacecraft.
About the Company
Andrews Space, Inc. (Andrews) is a privately-held business founded in 1999 to be a catalyst in the commercialization and development of space. The company is an affordable integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced space technologies. Andrews' customers include NASA and the Department of Defense, as well as aerospace prime contractors. Andrews is currently engaged in several launch vehicle and spacecraft development efforts in both the prime and subcontractor role. To learn more, please visit www.andrews-space.com.
Due to the competition on the NASA COTS program, no further announcements or details will be discussed until after the award of COTS.