NASA said Thursday all three contractors will further develop HLS concepts through February 2021as part of the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships initiative before the agency NASA selects which developers will move into the maturation and demonstration phases.
Blue Origin proposed a three-stage Integrated Lander Vehicle platform designed for the company’s New Glenn vehicle as well as United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket.
SpaceX will work on its Starship concept intended for the Super Heavy rocket, while Dynetics will create a structure designed for lunar ascent and descent activities as well as integration on the Vulcan rocket and Space Launch System.
“NASA’s HLS is truly innovative and one that will revolutionize space travel,” said Roger Krone, CEO and chairman of Leidos and a 2020 Wash100 winner. “We are fully committed to this endeavor and proud to join the team returning Americans to the moon.”
Dynetics noted its HLS proposal is also meant to support week-long surface habitation and that the HLS award builds on its prior work supplying hardware for the SLS stages, Orion crew vehicle and International Space Station.
“This is the first time since the Apollo era that NASA has direct funding for a human landing system, and now we have companies on contract to do the work for the Artemis program,” said Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the agency and a former Wash100 inductee.