Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman-built LCROSS Satellite Wins 2009 Aviation Week...

Thu Nov 5, 2009 8:02am EST

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Photo Release -- Northrop Grumman-built LCROSS Satellite Wins 2009 Aviation Week
Program Excellence Award

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Nov. 5, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Northrop Grumman
Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-built Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite
(LCROSS) has been awarded the 2009 Aviation Week Program Excellence Award in the
System Level Production/Sustainment category.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

The award is presented annually to recognize and promote best practices in
program leadership, encompassing the full range of responsibility and commitment
necessary to develop and execute the program. LCROSS was evaluated against award
criteria that includes risk management, budget and schedule management, and
performance and also addresses value creation, best practices in organizational
processes, leadership development, complexity and metrics.

"We are gratified to win this award," said Steve Hixson, vice president of
Advanced Concepts - Space and Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman
Aerospace Systems. "It is a significant acknowledgement of the high caliber of
our engineering skills and our close partnership with NASA Ames Research Center.
It also validates our ability to build small, inexpensive spacecraft with high
science value very quickly, awakening the industry and the nation to the
viability of this mission class."

"This award is a reflection of the dedicated effort of the entire program team
working in close partnership with our customer," said John Chino, Northrop
Grumman corporate vice president of programs, quality and engineering. "We
strongly emphasize program performance across the company, and we understand
that strong program management, which includes an inherent focus on quality,
results in achievements such as recognized here."

Northrop Grumman worked closely with NASA Ames Research Center to utilize
sophisticated management processes that enabled it to design, fabricate, test
and make the LCROSS spacecraft available for launch in just 27 months for $57
million. The LCROSS spacecraft was built using an off-the-shelf structure called
the Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adaptor (ESPA ring) and
commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors and components.

The best practices consistently applied to make LCROSS an outstanding program

 -- A close government-industry partnership that emphasized
    frequent, open, honest communication in all program areas,
    intensive attention to detail and involvement of all team
    members in identifying risks and opportunities.

 -- Innovative management processes that took the company's
    successful model in managing technical and schedule risk to
    a new level of effectiveness. Rigorous risk management
    minimized the impact of potential issues.

 -- Extensive re-use of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) hardware
    and other mature hardware designs to minimize integration and
    test time.

 -- Use of proven schedule acceleration methods developed on
    earlier programs to save costs and documenting lessons learned
    into a manual for other rapid development projects.
LCROSS was launched as a secondary mission along with NASA's Lunar
Reconnaissance Orbiter last June, as part of a larger mission to enable NASA to
search for water ice on the moon. LCROSS successfully concluded its mission to
search for water ice when it impacted the Moon's South Pole on Oct. 9.
Scientists are currently studying the data produced by the impact and plan to
report their findings soon.

Two other Northrop Grumman programs, the Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload
(ASIP) and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) program
developed for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Nay respectively, were also selected
as finalists for the award.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000
employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace,
electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to
government and commercial customers worldwide.

CONTACT:  Sally Koris
          Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
          310.812.4721 (o)
          310.567.5279 (m)