CARPENTERIA, Calif., March 7, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Astro Aerospace business unit has been recognized by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and The Royal Aeronautical Society for its groundbreaking design and on-orbit performance of its deployable systems on two separate space programs.

"These prestigious awards reflect Northrop Grumman's continuing tradition of flawless performance in space deployable systems," said Tom Romesser, vice president of technology development for Northrop Grumman Space Technology sector. "Astro leads the industry with an unmatched track record of 100 percent success on hundreds of flight-specific deployable units."

JPL recognized members of the Northrop Grumman Astro Aerospace design and deployment team with a NASA Group Achievement Award for their efforts on the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) program. The award honored the Flattenable Foldable Tube (FFT) team for the design and deployment of the first-of-its-kind antenna built for the University of Iowa and JPL for the European Space Agency's Mars Express program.

The award also recognized Astro Aerospace employees' support of the mission team during an intricate and dynamic deployment. MARSIS, part of the Mars Express Orbiter, is a subsurface radar sounder with a 40-meter (130 ft.) antenna that is searching for subsurface water strata and studying the Martian ionosphere.

The Royal Aeronautical Society, at its 95th Wilbur and Orville Wright Lecture and Awards Presentation, recognized Northrop Grumman Astro Aerospace as part of the Inmarsat 4 satellite team. The 2006 Team Silver Medal and certificate recognized Astro's "major contribution to satellite communications." The medal is presented annually "for work contributing to major advances or contributions in aerospace." Astro Aerospace resolved significant technical issues in designing a smaller packaged and lighter deployable reflector for the world's largest commercial spacecraft.

The team included key industrial partners in the Inmarsat 4 satellite program: Inmarsat, the Portsmouth, Toulouse and Stevenage facilities of EADS Astrium, Northrop Grumman's Astro Aerospace unit, and MDA Corporation of Canada.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  Fact Sheet
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   Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS)
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 Customers                         University of Iowa and JPL
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 Northrop Grumman Astro            Foldable Flattenable Tube (FFT(tm))
 Aerospace-Supplied Product        Antenna
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 Deployment                        Aboard the Mars Express satellite
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 FFT Elements                       A dipole antenna with (2) 65.6 ft
                                    (20 m) antenna elements,
                                    1.5 inches in diameter

                                    A nadir-pointing 22.9 ft. (7 m)
                                    monopole (0.5 inch diameter) to
                                    detect side scatter from
                                    surrounding terrain

                                    Containment box - three antenna
                                    elements are folded and compressed
                                    into a three-layered, graphite-
                                    skinned Nomex honeycomb box.
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 Mass                               15.4 lbs. (7 kg)
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 Stowed Dimensions                   Length:     66 inches (1.67 m)
                                     Width:      12 inches (0.30 m)
                                     Height:     8 inches (0.20 m)
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 Deployed Dimensions                 Length:     136 feet (41.41 m)
                                     Width:      284 inches (7.22 m)
                                     Height:     8 inches (0.20 m)
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 Deployed Frequency:                 0.8 Hz
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 Tube diameter:                      1.5 inch (38mm)
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 Temperature Range:                  -160 degrees C - 60 degrees C
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                       INMARSAT 4 Satellite

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 Customer                            Astrium SAS
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 Northrop Grumman Astro              AstroMesh(tm) Reflectors
 Aerospace-Supplied Product:
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 Aperture:                           29.52 ft. (9 m)
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 Mass:                               194 lb. (88 kg) subsystem;
                                     110.2 lb. (50 kg) reflector
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 Deployed Frequency:                 0.18 Hz
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 Number:                             Three (three spacecraft)
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 Stability:                          Gimbaled reflector maintains
                                     pointing requirement without
                                     need for on orbit adjustment
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 Successful deployment               April and November 2005
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 Launch                              March and October 2005
                                     Third spacecraft planned for
                                     launch in early 2008
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 Astro perimeter truss             - Inherently stiff & mass efficient
 structure advantages              - High surface accuracy

                                   - Inherent launch containment and
                                     robust deployment control for the
                                     interior mesh structure
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  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          310.812.5227
          Cell: 310.567.4919
          bob.j.bishop@ngc.com