Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) have completed and signed a formal agreement to compete as a team for NASA’s new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and related human lunar exploration systems. Under the agreement, Northrop Grumman will serve as the team’s leader and prime contractor during the initial development phase of the CEV, known as Spiral 1. During this period, which will demonstrate the CEV’s ability to operate safely with astronauts in low-Earth orbit, Boeing will serve as Northrop Grumman’s teammate and principal subcontractor. During Spiral 2, which will begin the expansion of human space exploration to the moon and beyond, Boeing will serve as prime contractor for the lunar mission elements. For this work, Northrop Grumman will serve as Boeing’s teammate and principal subcontractor. A formal request for proposals to begin development of the CEV system is expected from NASA in March. The space agency is expected to award two CEV system development and demonstration contracts by late summer.