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Two Colorado Companies Among Those Selected By NASA For Commercial Lunar Payload Delivery Services

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Picture Credit score: NASA

November 29, 2018 – NASA has chosen 9 U.S. corporations – together with Littleton-based Lockheed Martin and Deep Area Techniques — to bid on NASA supply companies to the lunar floor via Business Lunar Payload Companies (CLPS) contracts. The aim of CLPS is to allow scientific examine and human exploration of the Moon and assist put together the company to ship astronauts to discover Mars. Lunar payloads might fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019.

Chosen corporations will be capable to bid on delivering science and know-how payloads for NASA, together with payload integration and operations, launching from Earth and touchdown on the floor of the Moon. NASA expects to be certainly one of many shoppers that may use these industrial touchdown companies.

“Right this moment’s announcement marks tangible progress in America’s return to the Moon’s floor to remain,” mentioned NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The innovation of America’s aerospace corporations, wedded with our massive targets in science and human exploration, are going to assist us obtain wonderful issues on the Moon and feed ahead to Mars.”

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) initiated the request for proposals main to those alternatives as step one in attaining quite a lot of science and know-how goals that may very well be addressed by repeatedly sending devices, experiments and different small payloads to the Moon. SMD serves because the NASA interface between the company’s mission directorates, the scientific neighborhood, and different exterior stakeholders in creating a method to allow an built-in strategy for robotic and human exploration inside NASA’s Moon to Mars Exploration Marketing campaign.

Lockheed Martin’s McCandless Lunar Lander

This rendering of Lockheed Martin’s McCandless Lunar Lander exhibits a notional massive payload, and commonality with the confirmed InSight and Phoenix Mars landers. Picture Credit score: PRNewsfoto/Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin’s McCandless Lunar Lander was chosen to offer payload supply companies as a part of NASA’s CLPS contract. Lockheed Martin’s lander design builds on 4 many years of expertise engineering deep house missions, together with Mars landers. The McCandless Lunar Lander is predicated on the confirmed design of the InSight lander, which simply touched down on the Martian floor on Monday, November 26, and the Phoenix lander, which efficiently arrived at Mars in Might 2008.

“We’re excited to leverage our interplanetary lander designs and expertise to assist NASA construct a brand new financial system on and across the Moon, and past,” mentioned Lisa Callahan, vp and common supervisor for Business Civil Area at Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin has constructed extra interplanetary spacecraft than all different U.S. corporations mixed, together with 4 profitable Mars landers. With our experience on Orion and the NextSTEP lunar habitat, we are able to maximize the worth of CLPS for lunar science operations in addition to the trail ahead to tomorrow’s reusable human lander.”

The McCandless Lunar Lander is able to transporting massive payloads weighing lots of of kilograms – together with stationary scientific devices, deployable rovers, and even pattern return automobiles – to the floor of the Moon. The lander makes use of a confirmed propulsive touchdown strategy that depends upon on-board radars and a set of rocket thrusters firing 10 instances a second to sluggish to only 5 mph earlier than touching down. As soon as on the lunar floor, the lander can present energy, communications and thermal administration for stylish payloads.

The McCandless Lunar Lander is called in honor of the late Bruce McCandless, a NASA astronaut and longtime Lockheed Martin worker who was a pioneer in house exploration. McCandless is finest identified for conducting the primary untethered spacewalk utilizing the Lockheed Martin-built Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) throughout a flight on the house shuttle. He initially joined the astronaut corps throughout the Apollo program and served because the voice of mission management for Neil Armstrong’s well-known moonwalk. After retiring from NASA he was instrumental within the design of exploration know-how and coaching the subsequent technology of planetary explorers throughout his tenure at Lockheed Martin.

Deep Area Techniques Business Lunar Rover

This illustration exhibits a draft idea for a industrial lunar rover from Deep Area Techniques, Inc., Littleton, Colo. Deep Area Techniques is certainly one of 9 corporations chosen for NASA’s Business Lunar Payload Companies program. NASA will solicit bids from the businesses to offer lunar payloads and companies. Picture Credit score: Deep Area Techniques

Deep Area Techniques (DSS) of Littleton, Colorado, additionally has a venerable observe file of NASA missions. Deep Area Techniques personnel have supported the design, improvement, integration, check and operations of a fleet of exploration spacecraft together with Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO), Odyssey, Phoenix Lander, Orion, Mars Exploration Rovers, Stardust, Juno, GRAIL, and GOES-R.

DSS sometimes subcontracts to business prime contractors resembling Lockheed Martin, NASA and NASA facilities such because the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, creating system engineering merchandise distinctive to every contract, however has a wealth of expertise that spans the system life cycle together with proposal help, integration and testing of flight spacecraft, and operation and evaluation of spacecraft in flight.

DSS was established in 2001 and is an award-winning Girl Owned Small Enterprise.

Along with Lockheed Martin and Deep Area Techniques, the chosen corporations are:

  • Astrobotic Know-how, Inc.: Pittsburgh
  • Deep Area Techniques: Littleton, Colorado
  • Draper: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Firefly Aerospace, Inc.: Cedar Park, Texas
  • Intuitive Machines, LLC: Houston
  • Lockheed Martin Area: Littleton, Colorado
  • Masten Area Techniques, Inc.: Mojave, California
  • Moon Specific: Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • Orbit Past: Edison, New Jersey
  • The Business Lunar Payload Companies contracts are indefinite supply, indefinite amount contracts with a mixed most contract worth of $2.6 billion throughout the subsequent 10 years. The company will have a look at numerous components when evaluating bids, resembling technical feasibility, worth and scheduling.

    In October, NASA issued a name for potential lunar devices and applied sciences to review the Moon, with proposals due in January. These early missions will allow essential know-how demonstrations that may inform the event of future landers and different exploration methods wanted for people to return to the lunar floor, and assist put together the company to ship astronauts to discover Mars.

    NASA will re-examine the personal market periodically for brand new and rising lunar supply capabilities, and should supply extra corporations a chance to hitch Business Lunar Payload Companies via a contract course of known as on-ramping.

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