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NASA Extends Ares I Development Contract

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., January 5, 2007 -- NASA has authorized a contract action having a value of $48 million with ATK Thiokol of Brigham City, Utah, to continue design and development of the first stage for the Ares I crew launch vehicle.

Ares I will transport the Orion crew exploration vehicle and its crew of up to six astronauts, or other small cargo payloads, to low-Earth orbit. The first stage will consist of a single reusable solid rocket booster and motor similar to those used on the space shuttle, but with a fifth motor segment added. The upper stage will consist of a J-2X liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen engine and the associated propellant tanks and fuel distribution systems.

This Ares I first stage contract action will increase a first stage task under an existing shuttle contract by $48 million for a total work effort valued at $111 million. These activities are a preparatory effort leading up to the Ares I first stage prime contract, which will be awarded in the February 2007 timeframe.

The contract action maintains the design, development, test and evaluation schedule; expedites the procurement of new nozzle metal hardware and production tooling for propellant casting and nozzle fabrication; maintains the necessary design and engineering analysis; and continues participation in pilot parachute development tests. The action also provides support for an initial test flight in the spring of 2009 known as Ares I-1 and provides support for Ares I-1 in preparation for Preliminary Design Review. The test flight will use a simulated fifth segment on the first stage and a simulated upper stage.

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AirAsia places new order for 100 A320s

TOULOUSE, 8 January 2007 -- AirAsia has placed a firm order for an additional 50 A320s, with a further 50 A320s on option. The contract was signed today by Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia and John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers of Airbus. The signing brings the AirAsia Group's (Malaysia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia) total orders to 150 aircraft, plus 50 options - making it one of Airbus' largest customers for the aircraft type.

AirAsia placed its original order for 60 A320s in March 2005, with a re-order for an additional 40 aircraft announced at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2006. The airline currently operates a fleet of 15 A320s on its domestic and regional network.

The A320s are steadily replacing AirAsia's old generation Boeing 737 fleet and are destined to do the same at Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia in 2007 and 2008, respectively. AirAsia's Kuala Lumpur hub will be fully operated with A320s by July 2007.

SALE Orders 20 A320s

SALE ORDERS TWENTY A320 FAMILY AIRCRAFT Toulouse, 8 January 2007 - - Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) has placed an order for twenty A320 Family aircraft, with an additional ten aircraft on option. The contract was signed at the end of December 2006 but formally announced today. SALE is the largest leasing company customer for A320 Family aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region, having already taken delivery of 51 aircraft ordered directly from Airbus.

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