NASA has asked industry for its views about the development of the US space agency’s Ares V cargo launch vehicle (CaLV).
In its information package to industry the agency has also identified a series of changes to Ares V that are being studied in the “trade space”. They include a common core for PBAN and HTPB fuelled boosters, payload shroud shape optimization (this is the move to an Ogive “bullet” shape), a core-stage six engine layout (with all the engines shown in a circular layout in the full RFI presentation), an on-orbit Loiter Module vs integrated avionics and alternate missions’ designs
The presentation NASA released on 9 July provides the cargo launch vehicle’s development timetable up to 2020 while the above trade space study subjects were included in an additional presentation slide released on 25 July
NASA wants to know industry’s views on, potential barriers to competition for Ares V contracts, alternative stack integration procurement approaches and the pros and cons of a phased acquisition process having early, multiple, fixed price concept design contracts that lead to awards at milestones such as System Design Review or Preliminary Design Review
Some of these will be discussed in my forthcoming Ares progress feature that should be on flightglobal.com by the end of next week