NASA has awarded contracts worth $45.5M combined to study and develop human lander prototypes in the next six months in support of its Artemis lunar exploration initiative.
The space agency said Friday the companies will produce prototypes of a human landing platform with descent, ascent, transfer and refueling elements and shoulder at least 20 percent of the total development cost under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships Appendix E contracts.
“Our team is excited to get back to the Moon quickly as possible, and our public/private partnerships to study human landing systems are an important step in that process,” said Marshall Smith, director for human lunar exploration programs at NASA headquarters.
The awardees are:
- Aerojet Rocketdyne
- Blue Origin
- Lockheed Martin
- Masten Space Systems
- Northrop Grumman’s innovation systems business
- Sierra Nevada
NASA intends to issue a formal solicitation by summer of 2019 to inform the requirements for a human lunar landing mission by 2024 and support sustainable missions by 2028.