Orbital Sciences and NASA test the AJ26 engine (derived from a Russian engine) that will power the first stage of the Taurus II rocket, which will be used for their ISS cargo delivery system: /– NASA Test Fires New Rocket Engine For Commercial Space Vehicle – NASA – Nov.10.10 /– Taurus 2 Booster Engine Tested at Stennis – Spaceports === Five companies get NASA contracts for development of Modular Space Vehicles (MSV) as part of NASA’s partnership with DoD on operational responsive space: NASA Awards Modular Space Vehicles Contract – NASA – Nov.10.10 .
The MSV requirements are outlined here: Rapid Response Space Works And Modular Space Vehicles RRSW-MSV – FedBizOps.gov – Oct.16.09
> The Rapid Response Space Works (RRSW) and Modular SpaceVehicle (MSV) procurement has two primary objectives. The first objective is to stand up initial operations of the RRSW. This objective creates the ability for the ORS Office to meet its Deploy mission capability of rapidly deploying capabilities to the warfighter within days to weeks.
The second objective is to procure, outside of the RRSW, modular multi-mission space vehicles and/or buses and payloads for the RRSW. The first planned procurement under the MSV award is a task order for a modular Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite (SARSat).
In close cooperation and coordination with the RRSW and ORS Office,modular spacecraft will be designed, integrated, tested, launched, and will be controlled and operated to meet the RRSW responsive concept. The architecture developed for these responsive, modular spacecraft will be designed in such a way as to allow flexibility to meet multiple missions with minimal changes within the basic design. The spacecraft architecture will include a multi-mission, modular bus design and multi-mission, modular payload designs (mission kits will include electro-optical (EO) and radio frequency (RF)payloads).