MCLEAN, Va., June 26, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) was awarded a task order to independently verify and validate mission-critical software on the Mars Science Laboratory for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Independent verification and validation (IV&V) is a systems-engineering process applied throughout the software-development lifecycle to verify the system does what it was designed to do, and validate that it meets NASA's objectives. Northrop Grumman's Information Technology sector will help the NASA Independent Verification & Validation facility refine and apply IV&V processes and technology to increase reliability and reduce problems with mission critical software systems on the Mars Science Laboratory.

The Mars Science Laboratory is intended to be the first planetary mission to explore the Martian surface for signs of microbial life.

Northrop Grumman will help NASA reach this goal by certifying the software is compliant with NASA development plans, standards, procedures and specifications. This will help correct errors early in the software development lifecycle and can help reduce costs and development time.

Northrop Grumman was one of two companies awarded a NASA IV&V indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract in June 2005. Work on the Mars Science Laboratory task order will be done through February 2010.

Northrop Grumman's teammates on the task order include KeyLogic Systems, Morgantown, W.Va. and Mountain States Information Systems, Elkins, W.Va.

Work on the task order will be done in Fairmont, W.Va. and Pasadena, Calif.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 125,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

  CONTACT:  Christy Whitman
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (571) 213-5302

          Juli Ballesteros, APR
          Northrop Grumman Information Technology
          (703) 713-4675