Space

May 2, 2014

NASA selects partners for U.S. commercial lander capabilities

NASA announced April 30 the selection of three U.S. companies to negotiate no-funds exchanged partnership agreements with the agency to advance lander capabilities that will enable delivery of payloads to the surface of the moon, as well as new science and exploration missions of interest to NASA and scientific and academic communities.

The selected companies are:

* Astrobotic Technology, Inc., Pittsburgh

* Masten Space System, Inc., Mojave, Calif.

* Moon Express, Inc., Moffett Field, Calif.

NASA made the selections following a January solicitation for proposals. The agency now will negotiate no-funds exchanged Space Act Agreements with the companies as part of the agency’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative. NASA’s contributions for an estimated three-year period may include technical expertise, access to agency test facilities, equipment loans and/or software for lander development and testing.

“NASA is making advances to push the boundaries of human exploration farther into the solar system, including to an asteroid and Mars, and continues to spur development in the commercial space sector,” said Jason Crusan, director of the Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Robotic missions to the moon have revealed the existence of local resources, including oxygen and water, which may be highly valuable for exploration of the solar system. The potential to use the lunar surface in partnership with our international and commercial partners may allow these resources to be characterized and used to enable future exploration and pioneering.”

Commercial lunar transportation capabilities could support science and exploration objectives such as sample returns, geophysical network deployment, resource prospecting, and technology advancements.

The Advanced Exploration Systems Division of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate manages Lunar CATALYST. Advanced Exploration Systems pioneers new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems, demonstrating key capabilities and validating operational concepts for future human missions beyond Earth orbit.

As NASA works with U.S. industry to develop the next generation of U.S. spaceflight services, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system, including to a near-Earth asteroid and Mars.

For more information about the Lunar CATALYST initiative, visit http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 
 

Lockheed Martin wins Alaska spaceport bid

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The state-owned space agency Dec. 12 named Lockheed Martin the winner of a bidding process to reconfigure a launch pad to accommodate larger rockets than what the Kodiak Launch Complex can currently handle. Lockheed Martin beat out three other bidders to reconfigure launch pad one at the Kodiak site, officials with the...
 

 
LM-orion-recover

Orion spacecraft heading home after successful at-sea recovery by U.S. Navy, NASA

Engineers are getting their first look at the Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft following its successful flight test and recovery Dec. 5. With the spacecraft recovered from the Pacific and brought to port in San Diego, tec...
 
 
Northrop Grumman image

Northrop Grumman to supply navigation system for SBIRS GEO-5 satellite

Northrop Grumman image Artist’s rendering of the Space-Based Infrared System’s Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite.   WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. –¬†Northrop Grumman has been selected by prime contractor Lock...
 
 
boeing-spacecraft

Boeing CST-100 spacecraft moves another step closer to flight

Boeing and NASA recently completed the Ground Segment Critical Design Review and set the baseline design for the company’s Commercial Crew Transportation System, moving a step closer to the planned early 2017 voyage to th...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>