NASA Discloses Lunar Lander Development Plans With Commercial Firms

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NASA Discloses Lunar Lander Development Plans With Commercial Firms

With the 50th anniversary celebration of the foremost crewed landing on the moon, NASA released extra details regarding how it is planning to procure landers to allow humans to reach to the moon in the 2020s. This week, NASA published a pre-solicitation notice intended for its Human Landing System Integrated Lander effort, which is a key element of NextSTEP (Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships) program. This notice includes a draft edition of a broad agency declaration.

In this draft, NASA requests industry comments on the declaration by August 2, 2019. The draft solicitation gives some more details on NASA’s approach to creating landers with the capability to carry humans to the moon and back. The space agency aims to do so in time to meet the 2024 deadline established earlier this year by the White House. NASA’s plan, as expressed in the solicitation and supporting papers, calls for a 2-phase approach for lunar landers.

On a similar note, Ruag Space, a satellite and rocket hardware provider, recently disclosed that it has signed a deal with Firefly Aerospace. Reportedly, this deal intends to supply payload adapters for the firm’s tiny launch vehicles. As part of a long-term purchase agreement, Ruag Space is supposed to provide the adapters to Firefly. Generally, these adapters are used to lock satellites in place at the time of launch. Carrie Rice, Spokesperson, Ruag Space, asserted that the purchase deal starts with an order for about six launches. He added that the latest is a multi-year deal that holds no set quantities.

Firefly Aerospace, a Texas-based company, is engaged in manufacturing of a rocket named Firefly Alpha. This rocket intends to liftoff 630 Kilograms to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. The vehicle’s initial flight is slated for December 2019, as per the company website. Rice proclaimed that Ruag Space produces its payload adapters in Linköping, Sweden. The firm has supplied adapters for over a dozen launchers, such as Arianespace’s Vega rockets and Rocket Lab’s Electron.

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