NASA has selected 11 American companies to help them build the next Lunar Landers to carry humans to the surface of the Moon.
The 11 companies will carry out studies and work on prototype countries in the coming years. It's all part of NASA's Artemis mission and the 2024 mission datum with the lunar surface.
Here are some of the companies. Obviously, some very heavy hitter are involved.
- Aerojet Rocketdyne
- Blue Origin
- Lockheed Martin
- Northrop Grumman
- Sierra Nevada
Last Week For NASA's Artemis mission to the Moon, the number has increased the years raised to 2024. That means there is still a lot of work to be done. In order for these eleven companies to start their work, NASA uses so-called undefined contract measures.
This allows companies to start work while the contract is still being negotiated. It sounds like NASA is losing influence, but that's what you get when politicians set a timeline for a complex mission.
You do not have to read between the lines in this NASA press release to see if they feel it's time pressure.
"We are taking important steps to start development as soon as possible, including calling for a NextSTEP option that will allow our partners to get their work underway as we negotiate," said Greg Chavers, Human Landing System Formulation Manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
"We are keen to gain early industry feedback on our human land system requirements, and the undefined contract measures will help us to do that."
These companies are no strangers to NASA when contracted with them. NASA seems confident in sketching the overall goal and leaving the design to the business itself.
"This new approach does not dictate a particular design or set of elements for the human land system," said Chavers.
"NASA needs the system to bring our astronauts to the surface and bring them home safely, and we leave much detail to our trading partners."
The first pre-solicititation from April 8 signaled NASA's intention to solicit proposals from companies to design only the ascent element of Human Lunar Lander.
Later, on April 26, they expanded their pre-selection by several elements of the integrated lander, including ascent, descent and transfer vehicle.
The undefined contract measures announced by NASA will help the eleven selected companies meet the ambitious schedule for Artemis.
However, NASA continues to require the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion Capsule for Artemis to reach its 2024 target. Both developments have been delayed.
The way forward in space appears to be public-private partnerships, and NASA has worked with and continues to work with many of the 11 companies mentioned above.
If NASA Can Do It If you do it right and bring Artemis to the moon on time, they are the world leaders in public-private partnerships, just as they have been in space research for decades.
This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.