NASA has taken the next step in its $7 billion lunar logistics plan – asking companies for proposals to deliver cargo, science experiments and supplies to the Gateway to support Artemis missions to the lunar surface.
There will be two phases to the plan: speed – landing on the Moon by 2024 – and establishing a sustained multi-national human presence on and around the Moon by 2028. The agency will use what it learns on the Moon to prepare for sending astronauts to Mars.
In June, NASA invited companies to comment on the project, and now it taking the next step in inviting them to respond to a request for proposals. This solicitation is for a multi-award, firm-fixed price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for 15 years, with a maximum $7 billion value.
It is seeking capabilities from American companies to deliver a logistics spacecraft with pressurised and unpressurized cargo to the Gateway for six months of docked operations followed by automatic disposal. The logistics spacecraft must launch on a commercial rocket.
It is also asking responders to address logistics spacecraft design, cargo mass capability, pressurised volume, power availability for payloads and, transit time to Gateway.
“We chose to minimise spacecraft requirements on industry to allow for commercial innovation, but we are asking industry to propose their best solutions for delivering cargo and enabling our deep space supply chain,” said Mark Wiese, NASA’s Gateway logistics element manager at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
. “In addition to delivering cargo, science and other supplies with these services, private industry also has the opportunity to deliver other elements of our lunar architecture with this solicitation.”