NASA Marshall creates new Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program Office
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.