Instrument unit avionics
The Boeing Company
Chicago, IL

The Boeing Company has been awarded a NASA contract valued at approximately $265 million to produce the Ares I crew launch vehicle’s instrument unit avionics (IUA). The IUA provides the guidance, navigation, and control hardware for the new Ares I crew launch vehicle, serving as the “brains” behind the rocket’s ascent.

The Ares I launches the Orion crew exploration vehicle, which will join other elements of NASA’s Constellation program to help propel astronauts to the moon by 2020. Boeing will produce three IUA flight test units and six production units, with an option to produce four additional units per year from 2014 to 2016. Proven practices from several of Boeing’s programs, including the EA-18G Growler, Future Combat Systems, and Ground-based Midcourse Defense, will be applied.

Boeing will employ up to 100 technical personnel to support NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. The center will lead the design for the upper stage and instrument unit avionics for Ares I, while Boeing provides production and engineering support. Boeing expects to employ up to 20 production workers at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, LA, where the IUA will be added to the upper stage.

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