NASA has authorized a contract action having a maximum value of $28.6 million with ATK Thiokol of Brigham City, Utah, to continue design and development of the first stage for the crew launch vehicle.

The contract action maintains the design, development, tests and evaluation schedule; initiates procurement of long-lead items; adds the necessary design and engineering analysis leading to a Systems Requirements Review in September 2006; and provides the necessary support for first stage and vehicle-level design reviews identified in the work statement.

The cost-plus-award-fee contract provides additional support through Sept. 30, 2006. The crew launch vehicle is an in-line, two-stage rocket being developed primarily to carry the crew exploration vehicle – the capsule that will take astronauts to the moon.

Development of the crew launch vehicle is led by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., in partnership with the agency’s Johnson Space Center, Houston; Kennedy Space Center, Fla; and Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss.

For information about NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and development of the crew launch vehicle, visit: