The lunar lander under development by Dynetics for NASA’s Artemis program will make use of in-space refueling of cryogenic propellants and require three launches in quick succession, company officials revealed.
DIU space director Butow: “We have the power where it make sense of leveraging and using public private partnerships to our advantage.”
The Blue Origin-led team that is one of three working on lunar lander concepts for NASA’s Artemis program has delivered a full-sized mockup of that lander to the agency for testing by engineers and astronauts.
A Japanese company planning a series of lunar lander missions has raised $28 million that will allow it to complete development of its first mission.
Members of a NASA advisory committee expressed doubts that the agency can return humans to the moon by 2024 as currently planned, as well as concerns about the approach the agency is using to develop lunar landers.
German space company OHB is moving ahead with plans to launch a commercial lunar lander mission in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in late 2022 as it looks for government and commercial customers.
A NASA evaluation suggests that the agency selected SpaceX for one of the three human lunar lander awards as a high-risk, high-reward option that could provide significant capability but may not be ready in time for a 2024 landing.
NASA announced April 30 it has selected three companies to begin work on designs for human lunar landers, one of which the agency still hopes will be ready to land humans on the moon by the end of 2024.
A study by a space propulsion company concludes that a human return to the moon by 2024 will require minimizing the launches needed for the lunar lander and also using storable, rather than cryogenic, propellants.
A revised plan for returning astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2024 will no longer rely on the use of a lunar Gateway, although NASA’s human spaceflight head says the agency is still committed to eventually developing it.
A top NASA official said Feb. 28 he expects the first flight of the Space Launch System to take place in the second half of 2021, a later date than prior agency statements.