NASA News Release 98-141
August 3, 1998


NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, today issued a NASA Research Announcement soliciting proposals for "Future-X," the first in a continuous series of flight demonstrations to validate technologies beyond those contained in the X-33 and X-34 technology demonstration programs. Proposals are due by Oct. 1, 1998.

The NASA Research Announcement calls for proposals for flight demonstrations of emerging technologies that require flight as a critical step in validating and maturing the technology. The technologies will be focused on substantially reducing the cost of space transportation.

In an effort to increase U.S. competitiveness in the worldwide commercial space transportation market and lower future government costs for space access, NASA is pursuing cutting-edge technologies that will dramatically lower the cost of getting to space. These advanced technology flight demonstrations are called Future-X.

"The Future-X series of demonstrations will push technology and clear the way for space development and exploration in the early years of the new century," said Gary E. Payton, Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.

The demonstrations will consist of flight vehicles or experiments to prove technologies that improve performance and lower development, production and operating costs of future earth-to-orbit and in-space transportation systems. Airframe system technologies will include propellant tanks, thermal protection systems, avionics and structures. Propulsion system technologies will include main propulsion systems, propellants and high temperature materials.

"Future-X sets the stage for developing a new generation of space launch vehicles that will be built faster and cheaper than previous vehicles," said Frederick Bachtel, manager of the space transportation programs office at Marshall. "For the first time, NASA will be able to readily test and validate new, state-of-the-art space transportation technologies in flight."

Projected funding of about $90 million through fiscal year 2002 is anticipated with awards scheduled for December. Awards are dependent upon the number and content of selected proposals and availability of funds.

A single award is planned for a flight vehicle and multiple awards are anticipated for flight experiments.

An industry briefing on the announcement is scheduled Aug. 7 at 9 a.m. CDT at Marshall. NASA Research Announcement 8-22 is available at the following Web site:

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