Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne received a $1.8 million contract from United Launch Alliance to help design and develop an Emergency Detection System (EDS) for human spaceflights to be proposed for Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles. The EDS is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program, which aims to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop, demonstrate and accelerate human spaceflight capabilities.
The EDS will be designed to monitor critical launch vehicle and spaceflight systems, and to issue status, warning and abort information to the crew during their mission to low-Earth orbit. It is also being designed to trigger the Launch Abort System during an emergency to carry astronauts to safety. The contract runs to December 2010.