[meteorite-list] NASA Selects Partners for U.S. Commercial Lander Capabilities
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 15:19:56 -0700 (PDT)
April 30, 2014
NASA Selects Partners for U.S. Commercial Lander Capabilities
NASA announced Wednesday the selection of three U.S. companies to negotiate
no-funds exchanged partnership agreements with the agency to advance lander
capabilities that will enable delivery of payloads to the surface of the
moon, as well as new science and exploration missions of interest to NASA and
scientific and academic communities.
The selected companies are:
-- Astrobotic Technology, Inc., Pittsburgh
-- Masten Space System, Inc., Mojave, Calif.
-- Moon Express, Inc., Moffett Field, Calif.
NASA made the selections following a January solicitation for proposals. The
agency now will negotiate no-funds exchanged Space Act Agreements with the
companies as part of the agency's Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by
Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative. NASA's contributions for an
estimated three-year period may include technical expertise, access to agency
test facilities, equipment loans and/or software for lander development and
"NASA is making advances to push the boundaries of human exploration farther
into the solar system, including to an asteroid and Mars, and continues to
spur development in the commercial space sector," said Jason Crusan, director
of the Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA Headquarters in
Washington. "Robotic missions to the moon have revealed the existence of
local resources, including oxygen and water, which may be highly valuable for
exploration of the solar system. The potential to use the lunar surface in
partnership with our international and commercial partners may allow these
resources to be characterized and used to enable future exploration and
Commercial lunar transportation capabilities could support science and
exploration objectives such as sample returns, geophysical network
deployment, resource prospecting, and technology advancements.
The Advanced Exploration Systems Division of NASA's Human Exploration and
Operations Mission Directorate manages Lunar CATALYST. Advanced Exploration
Systems pioneers new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems,
demonstrating key capabilities and validating operational concepts for future
human missions beyond Earth orbit.
As NASA works with U.S. industry to develop the next generation of U.S.
spaceflight services, the agency also is developing the Orion spacecraft and
Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an
entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed for launching
spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion will expand human
presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across
the solar system, including to a near-Earth asteroid and Mars.
For more information about the Lunar CATALYST initiative, visit:
rachel.h.kraft at nasa.gov
Received on Wed 30 Apr 2014 06:19:56 PM PDT