Boeing and Dynetics announced today they are partnering on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) program, America's heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system. Boeing recently finalized a contract with NASA to develop the SLS Core stage and has selected Dynetics to provide some key elements of the stage including two structural test simulators and the Thrust Vector Control Exhaust Gas Heat Exchanger (TVC EGHE) for this stage.
Dynetics engineers will manufacture and assemble the structural simulators at their Huntsville campus before delivering them to Boeing at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Dynetics will also design, build and test in Huntsville the TVC EGHE, a piece of flight hardware that will fly on the SLS Core stage. Dynetics is headquartered in Huntsville, where Boeing manages its SLS program.
Boeing is the prime contractor for the design, development, test and production of the launch vehicle cryogenic stages, as well as development of the avionics suite. SLS uses a cryogenic rocket, leveraging liquefied gas stored at very low temperatures for optimal rocket efficiency. Boeing is designing the cryogenic stages concurrently to maximize the affordability of SLS rocket development and operations. The initial flight-test configuration will provide a 70 metric ton lift capacity while the final evolved two-stage configuration will provide a lift capability of more than 130 metric tons.
NASA selected Dynetics in 2012 to perform engineering demonstrations and risk reduction on advanced engines and structures for a future SLS Advanced Booster. The Dynetics SLS team designed and fabricated a full-scale cryogenic tank, which it will test to verify the structural design of the affordable booster concept. The partnership with Boeing will expand Dynetics' involvement in the SLS program.
"Dynetics is a key Huntsville business, and we're excited to welcome them to the SLS team," said Virginia Barnes, vice president and program manager for Boeing Exploration Launch Systems.
"We are pleased to work with Boeing, which has a rich heritage in NASA manned human spaceflight," said David King, Dynetics president. "We look forward to providing additional support to the SLS program. This is a great step toward our two companies partnering together to support NASA's exploration program."