NASA is inviting American companies to comment on the logistics of supplying its proposed lunar gateway – a $7 billion project which will support its Artemis programme to put people back on the Moon by 2024.
The Gateway will be a command and service module for missions to the lunar surface and eventually, exploration farther into the solar system.
“We’re asking industry to provide a spacecraft to deliver cargo and other supplies to the Gateway. It will dock to the orbital outpost, but will be responsible for generating its own power,” said Marshall Smith, director, human lunar exploration programmes at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
“We’re using the Moon as a proving ground for Mars to develop the technologies and systems we need for exploration farther into the solar system, so we look forward to seeing how industry responds to our upcoming solicitation, and potentially awarding multiple contracts for this lunar service.”
The first logistics service to the orbital outpost is expected to deliver science, cargo and other supplies in support of the Artemis lunar exploration programme.
“The Gateway, and specifically our logistics supply requirements, enables the deep space supply chain, taking the next step toward further commercialisation of space,” said Mark Wiese, NASA’s Gateway logistics element manager at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. “In addition to delivering cargo, science and other supplies to the Gateway with these services, there’s potential for an extension to industry to deliver other elements of our lunar architecture with this solicitation.”
Comments on NASA’s draft solicitation on its logistics approach, are due by 10th July.
A formal solicitation for a firm-fixed price contract is expected this summer. NASA anticipates the maximum contract award for all Gateway services over the course of 15 years will be valued at $7 billion.