A Nasa facility in Alabama that developed the giant rocket for the Apollo programme in the 1960s will play a key role in sending astronauts down to the Moon's surface in 2024.
The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville will lead the development of a vehicle that will land astronauts on the body for the first time since 1972.
The decision was announced by Nasa's administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Sorry for necroposting, but SpaceX has been selected by NASA to build a lunar landing version of the Starship, transporting people and cargo between lunar orbit and the surface.
SpaceX on Twitter: "A lunar optimized Starship can fly many times between the surface of the Moon and lunar orbit without flaps or heat shielding required for Earth return… https://t.co/9S0VkVOJxR"
Might get interesting for some here.
NASA has selected three U.S. companies to design and develop human landing systems (HLS) for the agency’s Artemis program, one of which will land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024. NASA is on track for sustainable human exploration of the Moon for the first time in history.
The human landing system awards under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP-2) Appendix H Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) are firm-fixed price, milestone-based contracts. The total combined value for all awarded contracts is $967 million for the 10-month base period.
The following companies were selected to design and build human landing systems:
Blue Origin of Kent, Washington, is developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV) – a three-stage lander to be launched on its own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system.
Dynetics (a Leidos company) of Huntsville, Alabama, is developing the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) – a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system.
SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is developing the Starship – a fully integrated lander that will use the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket.
Blue Origin is the prime contractor for the National Team that includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper. Their Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV) is a three-stage lander that harnesses the proven spaceflight heritage of each team.
Blue Origin will build the descent element which is powered by BE-7 cryogenic engines three years in private development, with cryogenic technologies now under Tipping Point support. Lockheed will build the ascent element that includes the crew cabin, which will have significant commonality with Orion. Northrop Grumman will build the transfer element based largely on its Cygnus cargo module that services the International Space Station. Northrop Grumman is also leading development of a future refueling element for a sustainable lander demonstration. Draper will provide the guidance, navigation and control, avionics, and software systems that draw largely on similar systems the company has developed for NASA.
In their proposal, the National Team outlines a plan in which the ILV can dock with either Orion or the Gateway to await crew arrival. The Blue Origin National Team’s elements for the Human Landing System can be launched individually on commercial rockets or combined to launch on NASA’s Space Launch System.
Dynetics proposed a robust team with more than 25 subcontractors specializing in both the larger elements and the smaller system-level components of the Dynetics Human Landing System. The large team capitalizes on Dynetics’ experience as an integrator on military and defense contracts with large subcontractor teams.
The Dynetics Human Landing System concept includes a single element providing the ascent and descent capabilities, with multiple modular propellant vehicles prepositioned to fuel the engines at different points in the mission. The crew cabin sits low to the surface, enabling a short climb for astronauts entering, exiting, or transporting tools and samples. The DHLS systems supports both docking with Orion and with Gateway, and will get a fuel top-off before descending to the surface. After the surface expedition, the entire vehicle will return for crew transfer back to Orion.
The Dynetics Human Landing System is rocket-agnostic, capable of launching on a number of commercial rockets.
For more info, kindly visit NASA's NextSTEP H: Human Landing System webpage.Starship is a fully reusable launch and landing system designed for travel to the Moon, Mars, and other destinations. The system leans on the company’s tested Raptor engines and flight heritage of the Falcon and Dragon vehicles. Starship includes a spacious cabin and two airlocks for astronaut moonwalks.
Several Starships serve distinct purposes in enabling human landing missions, each based on the common Starship design. A propellant storage Starship will park in low-Earth orbit to be supplied by tanker Starships. The human-rated Starship will launch to the storage unit in Earth orbit, fuel up, and continue to lunar orbit.
SpaceX’s Super Heavy rocket booster, which is also powered by Raptor and fully reusable, will launch Starship from Earth. Starship is capable of transporting crew between Orion or Gateway and the lunar surface.
What worries me about Starship is the painters scaffolding you come down on and the lack of clearance on the ground.
I think the whole program would be interesting for Orbiter. We have some sort of the same problem as the real world: After Apollo, we stopped going to the moon.