AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsUnder DARPA sponsorship, XCOR also designed a 10,000-pound thrust liquid-oxygen/methane engine that will form the basis for the design of the NASA CEV engine. The work is being done under a $10.4 million contract awarded to Minnesota-based Alliance Techsystems, also known as ATK. ATK is a $3.3 billion manufacturer of munitions and rocket motors, employing about 15,000 people in 23 states. NASA studies favored liquid-oxygen/methane propulsion for the new spacecraft because it eliminates the need for special ground-handling procedures associated with traditional – and dangerous – nitrogen tetroxide and monomethyl hydrazine propulsion systems. The first phase of the development is to design and test a heavyweight, prototype rocket motor. Upon completion, the contract allows for options to design and fabricate a more flight-weight prototype engine. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MOJAVE – XCOR Aerospace announced that it won a $3.3 million contract with Alliant Techsystems as part of Alliant Techsystem’s NASA contract to develop a nontoxic liquid oxygen/methane rocket engine for America’s next manned spacecraft. XCOR will provide engineering design and testing support to help Alliant Techsystems develop a heavyweight prototype version of a 7,500-pound thrust liquid oxygen/methane engine that NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle could use for maneuvering in space or blasting off from the moon. “We are very excited about the opportunity to contribute to NASA’s exploration program in such a significant way,” XCOR President Jeff Greason said. “We are proud that NASA selected our team over many more traditional rocket engine suppliers.” Since its inception in 1999, Mojave-based XCOR has designed, built and tested several different rocket engines, including a 50-pound thrust liquid-oxygen/methane engine and an 1,800-pound thrust liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon engine.