NASA will consider the procurement of more than one power and propulsion module for a lunar outpost that will support future deep space missions, Space News reported Friday.
Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said the agency might award more than one contact for the development and in-space testing of the Power and Propulsion Element for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.
The PPE will become the first element of the gateway, which will also include habitation, logistics and airlock features.
“The architecture is open enough that we can tolerate more than one of these Power and Propulsion Elements in the vicinity of the moon, if we got the right prices and the right considerations,” said Gerstenmaier.
He added that one PPE would be used for the gateway and additional PPEs could aid other lunar exploration activities, such as communications around the moon.
NASA plans to release a draft solicitation for PPE later this month, then facilitate an industry day in late April or early May before releasing a final solicitation.