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NASA selects five US firms for lunar lander studies

Image: Artist concept of Artemis astronaut stepping onto the Moon (NASA)

Edinburgh, 16 September 2021. – NASA announced it will grant $146 million to five U.S. companies to conduct studies for future lunar lander concepts. This will enable a “steady pace of crewed trips to the lunar surface under the Artemis program,” NASA said.

The five companies and their awards are Blue Origin ($25.6 million), Dynetics ($40.8 million), Lockheed Martin ($35.2 million), Northrop Grumman ($34.8 million), and SpaceX ($9.4 million). The awards under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP-2) Appendix N are individual, fixed-price, milestone-based contracts.

The five companies will make advancements in sustainable human landing systems, conduct risk-reduction activities, and provide feedback on NASA’s requirements, the agency said.

They will develop lander design concepts and evaluate interfaces, safety and medical capabilities among others. The firms will also conduct critical component tests. All this work will be carried out within the next 15 months.

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