NASA Pursues Astronaut Lunar Landers for Future Artemis Moon Missions
NASA is seeking proposals for sustainable lunar lander development and demonstration as the agency works toward a regular cadence of Moon landings.
Under the solicitation, Human Landing System Sustaining Lunar Development, NASA has provided requirements for companies interested in developing and demonstrating astronaut Moon landers. These efforts will pave the way for multiple companies to provide recurring Moon landing services beyond the Artemis III mission, which is planned for no earlier than 2025.
Companies selected under this contract will be required to perform one uncrewed and one crewed lunar landing demonstration. NASA will certify any lander system to meet its requirements prior to the crewed demonstration mission(s).
The final call for proposals comes after NASA incorporated industry feedback on the draft solicitation, released March 31, encouraging companies to send comments to help shape a key component of the agency’s human exploration Artemis architecture.
NASA’s existing contract with SpaceX includes both an uncrewed and a crewed lunar landing demonstration that is part of the Artemis III mission, marking humanity’s first return to the Moon in more than 50 years. The agency plans to exercise an option under this contract, known as Option B, asking the company to evolve its current Artemis III Starship Human Landing System design to meet an extended set of requirements for sustaining missions at the Moon and conduct another crewed demonstration landing.
These concurrent sustaining lander development efforts will meet NASA’s needs for recurring, long-term access to the lunar surface, such as the ability to dock with the Gateway for crew transfer, accommodate an increased crew size, and deliver more mass to the surface.
Proposals for the sustainable lunar lander development and demonstration are due November 15, 2022.
For more information about this procurement, visit https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/humanlander4.