The Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle office at NASA’s Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. – the office that oversees the Space
Launch Initiative – will now report directly to the Director of NASA’s
Marshall Center. This program previously reported to the Director of
Marshall’s Space Transportation Directorate.

The shift comes with the growth of the Space Launch Initiative (SLI), a
one-year-old NASA initiative designed to develop technologies and lead to
creation of a second generation reusable launch vehicle.

“The Space Launch Initiative is NASA’s No. 1 development program,” said
Marshall Center Director Art Stephenson. “By realigning our office
functions, we provide the Second Generation Program Office, and the managers
and engineers supporting it, the single program focus needed to meet the
goals we have set.”

The goals of the Space Launch Initiative are to reduce the cost of launch to
low earth orbit to $1,000 per pound of payload and improve safety to loss of
crew to 1 in 10,000 flights.

Dennis E. Smith, former deputy director of Marshall’s Space Transportation
Directorate, will head the Second Generation Program Office. Dan Dumbacher
has been named deputy manager.

NASA’s Space Launch Initiative is the key to opening the space frontier for
continued scientific exploration and economic expansion – by making space
flight safe and affordable for both the government and private industry.

The Space Launch Initiative budget for fiscal year 2001 is $290 million, and
increases to $475 million for fiscal year 2002. Through mid-decade, the
budget is $4.8 billion.

The first contract awards for technology development are expected this week.

Marshall’s Space Transportation Directorate will continue to provide
propulsion and engineering expertise to the Space Launch Initiative as well
as the Space Shuttle. The Directorate also will continue development of
advanced (third generation) space transportation systems, a Mars ascent
vehicle, in-space propulsion and advanced break-through propulsion research.