ARES Technical Services Lands Orion Support Role

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ARES Technical Services Corp. of Burlingame, Calif., will support NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle under a $49 million program integration contract the U.S. space agency announced Feb. 11.

The cost-plus-fixed-fee services contract has a 2.5-year base period, with two one-year options, NASA said in a press release.

ARES will provide products, professional services, and systems engineering and integration services, NASA said. Work under the contract, which also includes education outreach, and test and verification functions, is set to begin April 1, NASA said.

ARES’ work will be done at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, other NASA centers, and at facilities owned by Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, NASA said.

MEI Technologies of Houston will support Ares on the contract.

NASA’s Orion capsule is being designed for crewed expeditions beyond Earth orbit. It will first fly to space in 2014 on an unmanned test flight launched by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket. NASA plans to use the heavy-lift Space Launch System to loft an unmanned Orion to lunar space in 2017 and refly the mission in 2021 with a crew onboard.