SETI [ASTRO] TRW/Ball Aerospace Team Awarded Contract to Develop Design for NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope

Larry Klaes (
Tue, 13 Jul 1999 15:48:19 -0400

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender
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>Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 17:42:06 GMT
>From: Ron Baalke <>
>Subject: [ASTRO] TRW/Ball Aerospace Team Awarded Contract to Develop
Design for NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope
>Reply-To: Ron Baalke <>
>CONTACT: TRW Inc., Redondo Beach
> A. Brooks McKinney, 310/814-8177
>TRW/Ball Aerospace Team Awarded Contract to Develop Design for NASA's
>Next Generation Space Telescope
>REDONDO BEACH, Calif., July 12, 1999 -- A TRW-led team that includes Ball
>Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has been awarded a contract by NASA's
>Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., to develop a preliminary design
>concept for the space agency's Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), the
>successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
> The 30-month contract, one of two NGST contracts awarded by Goddard,
>has a total potential value of $14.9 million, including options.
> Operating from the edge of the visible to the mid-infrared region of the
>electromagnetic spectrum (radiation with wavelength of 0.6 to 20 microns),
>NGST is expected to have about 10 times the light-gathering capabilities of
>the Hubble Space Telescope. It will also be able to see objects 400 times
>fainter than those currently studied with ground telescopes such as the Keck
>Observatory, with a spatial resolution comparable to Hubble.
> "This award capitalizes on the demonstrated experience of TRW and Ball
>Aerospace in developing spacecraft for NASA's most challenging space science
>missions," said Joanne Maguire, vice president and general manager of TRW's
>Space & Laser Programs Division. "Our innovative technologies and effective
>management approach for NGST promise a space system that will significantly
>expand the world's knowledge of the universe while meeting the mission cost
> The NGST mission, an important component of NASA's Origins program,
>will use a lightweight, 8-meter-class, deployable mirror and highly-sensitive
>infrared detectors to gather clues about the nature of the universe when it
>was between 1 million and several billion years old.
> From a position in deep space known as the L2 Lagrange point, it will
>search for answers to astronomers' fundamental questions about, among
>other things, the birth and evolution of galaxies, the size and shape of the
>universe, and the mysterious life cycles of matter in the universe.
> Under the terms of its NGST Phase 1 definition contract, TRW and its
>principal subcontractor, Ball Aerospace, will develop the NGST design
>concept and continue a series of activities that will bring to maturity the
>technologies necessary to build and deploy NGST. As the prime contractor,
>TRW will lead the overall system design effort, while Ball Aerospace will
>play a major role in developing the NGST payload, with special emphasis
>on the optical elements.
> A competition to select a winning NGST design for Phase 2 of the program
>is expected in 2001. Phase 2 of the program will include detailed design,
>fabrication and delivery to orbit of the NGST spacecraft. Launch of the NGST
>is expected in 2008.
> Collectively, TRW and Ball Aerospace have played a major role in every
>one of NASA's Great Observatories. TRW designed and built the Compton
>Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) and the soon-to-be-launched Chandra X-ray
>Observatory, while Ball provided key instruments for the Hubble Space
>Telescope and is building the telescope for the Space Infrared Telescope
>Facility (SIRTF).
> TRW is also working under contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
>(JPL), as the spacecraft industry partner for NASA's Space Interferometry
>Mission (SIM), the first in a series of Origins missions planned for launch
>early in the 21st century.
> NASA's Origins program is a series of linked science missions directed
>at answering fundamental questions about the origin of galaxies, stars,
>and planets, and the possibility of habitable, Earth-like worlds around
>nearby stars.
> Technology developed under SIM and NGST will support a subsequent
>Origins mission, Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), which will detect
>Earth-sized planets around nearby stars. TRW is a participant with NASA
>in all of these Origins missions.
> TRW has been developing scientific, communications and environmental
>satellite systems for NASA since 1958. In addition to its work on NGST
>and SIM, the company is currently studying architectures and technologies
>needed to implement several of NASA's future space science missions
>including Terrestrial Planet Finder; Constellation-X, NASA's next major
>X-ray mission after Chandra; and Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope
>(GLAST), a follow-on program to CGRO, which has been in service since
> Based in Cleveland, TRW provides advanced technology products and
>services for the global automotive, aerospace and information systems
>markets. The company's 1998 sales totaled nearly $12 billion. TRW news
>releases are available on the corporate Web site: .
>Andrew Yee

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