NASA announced the selection of Maxar Technologies to develop and demonstrate power, propulsion and communications capabilities for NASA’s lunar Gateway.
“The power and propulsion element is the foundation of Gateway of how partnerships with U.S. companies can help expedite NASA’s return to the Moon with the first woman and next man by 2024,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“It will be the key component upon which we will build our lunar Gateway outpost, the cornerstone of NASA’s sustainable and reusable Artemis exploration architecture on and around the Moon.”
This firm-fixed price award includes an indefinite-delivery, quantity portion and carries a maximum total value of $375 million. The contract begins with a 12-month base period of performance and is followed by a 26, a 14 and two 12-month options.
NASA will have the option to acquire the spacecraft for use as the first element of the Gateway. NASA is targeting launch of the power and propulsion element on a commercial rocket in late 2022.
Charged with returning to the Moon within five years, NASA’s lunar exploration plans are based on a two-phase approach: the first is focused on speed – landing on the Moon by 2024.
While the second will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028. We then will use what we learn on the Moon to prepare to send astronauts to Mars.