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NASA Taps Vector Space Systems to Build Launch Vehicle Upper Stage Prototype

NASA Taps Vector Space Systems to Build Launch Vehicle Upper Stage Prototype - top government contractors - best government contracting event

rocket launchVector Space Systems has secured a Phase II contract under NASA‘s Small Business Technology Transfer project to continue developing an upper stage prototype for the Vector-R launch vehicle.

The award complements the company’s existing contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to examine the potential use of Vector-R’s first stage as a second stage for DARPA’s XS-1 experimental spaceplane, Vector Space Systems said Thursday.

The contracts have a combined value of $2.5 million and Vector looks to invest in infrastructure and site preparations to test Vector-R by the fourth quarter of next year.

Jim Cantrell, Vector CEO and co-founder, said the company aims to develop a microsatellite launch vehicle to support entrepreneurs and startups.

Vector will collaborate with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Aerospace Corp. to complete the design of a Vector-R upper stage engine prototype as well as perform assembly, integration and checkout activities under NASA’s Phase II STTR initiative.

The team will also work to integrate the upper stage with a first stage engine prototype to form a two-stage flight test vehicle under DARPA’s project.

Flight testing of the vehicle will occur at AAC’s facility in Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Vector-R comprises a carbon fiber airframe, pressurized propulsion systems and an avionics system and is designed to launch payload of up to 110 pounds.

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