Space

NASA Awards Artemis Contract For Gateway Logistics Companies


Illustration of the SpaceX Dragon XL as it’s deployed from the Falcon Heavy’s second stage in excessive Earth orbit on its technique to the Gateway in lunar orbit. Picture Credit score: SpaceX

March 28, 2020 – NASA has chosen SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, as the primary U.S. industrial supplier beneath the Gateway Logistics Companies contract to ship cargo, experiments and different provides to the company’s Gateway in lunar orbit. The award is a big step ahead for NASA’s Artemis program that may land the primary lady and subsequent man on the Moon by 2024 and construct a sustainable human lunar presence.

On the Moon, NASA and its companions will acquire the expertise essential to mount a historic human mission to Mars.

SpaceX will ship important pressurized and unpressurized cargo, science experiments and provides to the Gateway, similar to pattern assortment supplies and different objects the crew may have on the Gateway and through their expeditions on the lunar floor.

“This contract award is one other important piece of our plan to return to the Moon sustainably,” mentioned NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The Gateway is the cornerstone of the long-term Artemis structure and this deep house industrial cargo functionality integrates one more American business accomplice into our plans for human exploration on the Moon in preparation for a future mission to Mars.”

NASA is planning a number of provide missions through which the cargo spacecraft will keep on the Gateway for six to 12 months at a time. These firm-fixed worth, indefinite supply/indefinite amount contracts for logistics providers assure two missions per logistics providers supplier with a most complete worth of $7 billion throughout all contracts as further missions are wanted.

“Returning to the Moon and supporting future house exploration requires inexpensive supply of great quantities of cargo,” mentioned SpaceX President and Chief Working Officer Gwynne Shotwell. “Via our partnership with NASA, SpaceX has been delivering scientific analysis and important provides to the Worldwide House Station since 2012, and we’re honored to proceed the work past Earth’s orbit and carry Artemis cargo to Gateway.”

The Gateway Logistics Companies contract permits NASA to order missions for so long as 12 years with a 15-year efficiency interval and gives the flexibility so as to add new aggressive suppliers. These missions will assist NASA’s plans for sustainable exploration with each worldwide and industrial companions, whereas growing the expertise and capabilities essential to ship people to Mars.

“That is an thrilling new chapter for human exploration,” mentioned Mark Wiese, Deep House Logistics supervisor at NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Florida. “We’re bringing the progressive considering of business business into our provide chain and serving to guarantee we’re capable of assist crews making ready for lunar floor expeditions by delivering the provides they want forward of time.”

Charged with returning to the Moon within the subsequent 4 years, NASA’s Artemis program will reveal new data in regards to the Moon, Earth and our origins within the photo voltaic system. The Gateway is a crucial a part of NASA’s deep house exploration plans, together with the House Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and human touchdown system that may ship astronauts the Moon. One customary logistics service mission is anticipated for every Artemis SLS/Orion crewed mission to the Gateway. Gaining new experiences on and across the Moon will put together NASA to ship the primary people to Mars within the coming years, and the Gateway will play a significant function on this course of.

“We’re making vital progress shifting from our idea of the Gateway to actuality,” mentioned Dan Hartman, Gateway program supervisor at NASA’s Johnson House Middle in Houston. “Bringing a logistics supplier onboard ensures we will transport all of the important provides we want for the Gateway and on the lunar floor to do analysis and know-how demonstrations in house that we will’t do wherever else. We additionally anticipate performing a wide range of analysis on and inside the logistics module.”

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