An ability to get on contract quickly and a price far lower that other companies were key factors in NASA’s decision to award a contract to Maxar Technologies for the first element of the lunar Gateway, the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE).
The Canadian Space Agency — NASA’s first international partner to commit to the lunar Gateway — is considering a faster schedule for its contributions to keep pace with NASA’s accelerated plans.
In order to meet the goal of landing humans on the moon in 2024, NASA needs to get one element of its proposed lunar Gateway on contract in the near future so it will be ready in time.
It’s been nearly six weeks since Vice President Mike Pence charged NASA with landing humans on the moon by 2024. Since then, the space industry, as well as members of Congress, have been seeking answers to two questions: how will NASA carry this out, and for how much?
As NASA works to develop a plan for an accelerated human return to the moon, a top White House official emphasized the need for long-term sustainability that will require both a Gateway and a lunar base.
As NASA develops its plans to accelerate a human return to the surface of the moon, international partners are left wondering what roles, if any, they will have in that effort.
The advisory group of the National Space Council wants to take on a role evaluating NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon by 2024, once those plans are developed.
NASA’s plans to develop a crewed facility in lunar orbit to support exploration of the moon got boosts both in the White House’s budget request for the agency as well as from the partners in the International Space Station.
A five-week partial government shutdown could delay the launch of the first element of NASA’s orbiting lunar outpost by as much as three months.