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Airbus to develop PMAD for lunar Gateway module

Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. Credit: Airbus

Edinburgh / Madrid, 12 January 2022. – Airbus Crisa, an affiliate company of Airbus, has signed a contract with Northrop Grumman to develop the Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) system for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), Airbus announced. The contract worth over US $50M marks Airbus’ first contribution to the lunar Gateway, part of NASA’s Artemis program.

The lunar Gateway station is scheduled for launch in 2024, initially with two modules which can be expanded to five. The two modules are PPE (Power and Propulsion Element) and HALO. 

PPE is equipped with solar arrays for power and thrusters to maintain a stable orbit. HALO is where the astronauts will live during the 40-day first missions. The station will serve as a space laboratory and a logistics post for future Moon and Mars trips.

The PMAD has four power units powered by the solar panels of the PPE module. It will distribute the power to equipment and the whole of the station while ensuring the safety of the crew. 

The PMAD will power the life support system, lighting, communications systems, scientific experiments and visiting vehicles when they dock. It will also play a vital role in ensuring that HALO’s battery remains at optimal levels.

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