Northrop Grumman Successfully Tests Abort Motor for NASA’s Orion Spacecraft

The abort motor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft Launch Abort System completes its final qualification test at the Northrop Grumman Promontory, Utah, test area. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Full-scale static test concludes qualification testing for Orion spacecraft abort motor.

PROMONTORY, Utah (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Lockheed Martin successfully performed the final full-scale ground test of the abort motor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft Launch Abort System (LAS) at Northrop Grumman’s Promontory test facility. The 17-foot-tall abort motor is one of three motors comprising the LAS that sits atop the Orion spacecraft aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and is designed to increase astronaut safety on the pad and through initial ascent.

(more…)

Thales Alenia Space Wins Study Contract to Develop Payload to Extract Oxygen on the Moon

Lunar lander with in-situ resource utilization system to extract oxygen from regolith. (Credit: Redwire Space Europe)

Selected by the European Space Agency, Thales Alenia Space leads study to develop a demonstration payload to extract oxygen from Moon rock

BRISTOL, UK, February 23, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has signed a study contract with the European Space Agency worth one million euros for a payload concept to extract oxygen from Moon rock.

(more…)

A Closer Look at Northrop Grumman Commercial Space Station

Northrop Grumman’s free flyer commercial destination design leverages flight proven elements to provide the base module for extended capabilities including science, tourism, industrial experimentation, and building of infrastructure beyond initial design. (Credits: Northrop Grumman)

NASA has released the selection statement that lays out the space agency’s reasoning for awarding Nanoracks, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman a total of $415.6 million to develop plans for private space stations under the Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) program. The facilities are designed to maintain a permanent U.S. presence in Earth orbit when the International Space Station (ISS) is retired in 2030.

In this story, we’ll look at the Northrop Grumman’s station. The project summary is drawn from publicly available information. Excerpts from the selection statement follow. Long paragraphs in the latter have been broken up to improve readability. Acronyms have been spelled out for the sake of clarity.

(more…)

Paragon and Northrop Grumman Finalize HALO Life Support Contract Valued in Excess of $100 Million

Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 17, 2022 (Paragon SDC PR) — Paragon Space Development Corporation (Paragon) is proud to announce that Northrop Grumman has finalized its contract with Paragon valued in excess of $100 million for the life support system of the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) program. HALO will be deployed in lunar orbit as the first crew module of NASA’s Lunar Gateway. HALO will serve as both a crew habitat and docking station for spacecraft that will routinely travel between the Earth and the moon.

(more…)

Airbus to Develop Power Management and Distribution System for Key Lunar Gateway Module

Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Enabling the future Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) servicing astronauts on their way to the Moon

MADRID 11 January 2022 (Airbus PR) — Airbus Crisa, an affiliate company of Airbus, has signed a contract for the development of the Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) system for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) with Northrop Grumman.

Airbus Crisa is a Spanish company founded in 1985 to design and manufacture electronic equipment and software for space applications, and engineering projects for ground stations. It is fully integrated into Airbus Defence and Space.

(more…)

Mission Critical AEPS Thruster Completes Development Testing for NASA’s Lunar Gateway

Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) thruster recently completed development testing. (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

August 9, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) thruster that will be employed on the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) for NASA’s international lunar Gateway recently completed development testing. The next milestone for the program will be the PPE Preliminary Design Review in October. Three 12 kilowatt (kW) AEPS thrusters will serve as the primary source of propulsion on the PPE to enable orbit transfer and in-space maneuvering.

(more…)

MDA Awarded Next Contract for Flagship Canadarm3 Program

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

MDA receives $35.3 million [US $28.1 million] contract for long-lead Gateway External Robotics Interfaces as part of multi-year, multi-phase $billion+ program

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PTR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly-expanding global space industry, today announced that it has been awarded a $35.3 million [US $28.1 million] contract from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the design of the Gateway External Robotics Interfaces (GERI), a key component of Canadarm3 which will be installed on the international Lunar Gateway.

(more…)

NASA, Northrop Grumman Finalize Moon Outpost Living Quarters Contract

Artist’s concept of the Gateway Power and Propulsion Element, or PPE, and Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO, in orbit around the Moon. The gold box on the right side of the image depicts the HERMES payload. The ERSA payload is the silver box just below it. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and Northrop Grumman of Dulles, Virginia, have finalized a contract to develop the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) for Gateway, which will be a critical way station and outpost in orbit around the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

NASA and its commercial and international partners are building Gateway to support science investigations and enable surface landings at the Moon, which will help prepare astronauts for future missions to Mars.

(more…)

NASA Deep Space Exploration Budget Request Fact Sheet

Artist concept of the SpaceX Starship on the surface of the Moon. (Credits: SpaceX)

NASA FACT SHEET
FY 2022 Budget Request
Deep Space Exploration Systems
($ Millions)

The FY 2022 Budget for the Deep Space Exploration Systems account consists of two areas, Exploration Systems Development (ESD) and Exploration Research and Development (ERD), which provide for the development of systems and capabilities needed for the human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

(more…)

Paragon Announced as Northrop Grumman Gateway HALO Partner

Artist’s concept of the Gateway Power and Propulsion Element, or PPE, and Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO, in orbit around the Moon. The gold box on the right side of the image depicts the HERMES payload. The ERSA payload is the silver box just below it. (Credits: NASA)

TUCSON, Ariz., May 21, 2021 (Paragon SDC PR) — Paragon Space Development Corporation (Paragon) is proud to announce it is part of the Northrop Grumman team for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) contract awarded by NASA. According to NASA, the HALO module will be roughly the size of a small apartment and able to accommodate short-duration stays for crews arriving on the Orion spacecraft. 

Paragon is responsible for the design and implementation of the HALO Environment Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). The ECLSS provides a comfortable, shirt-sleeve environment for the visiting crew members during their stay at the Lunar Gateway. This includes maintenance of the air and temperature as well as safe levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, humidity and trace contaminants. In pursuit of these objectives, Paragon will apply decades worth of human spaceflight development experience and leverage key expertise, knowledge and innovations to successfully deliver the HALO module ECLSS.

“The HALO life support system is optimized to meet the specific mission requirements established by NASA and Northrop Grumman and it’s going to do so efficiently, safely, and affordably,” said Barry Finger, VP Engineering and Chief Engineer.

“We are extremely enthused to be part of this exciting endeavor and we look forward to supporting our Northrop Grumman partner on this important project. NASA’s HALO program is just one more indication – a marker if you will – of America’s vital re-focus on long-duration space and our renewed commitment to human space exploration. The HALO program will provide the precursor to extended missions to Mars, and should be inspiring to all Americans and the world community,” said Grant Anderson, President and CEO and Co-Founder of Paragon.

Paragon has been a trusted leader in supporting mission critical operations for space, military, and commercial customers around the world for over 28 years. For more information and other news, visit www.paragonsdc.com.

Surprise! NASA Artemis Lunar Program Schedule Likely to Slip Again, 2024 Landing Unlikely

An astronaut descends the ladder to explore the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The latest in a series of updates from NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) says that despite making significant progress on the $86 billion Artemis program, the space agency’s schedule for returning astronauts to the moon in four years is likely to slip. [Full report]

“Nonetheless, the Agency faces significant challenges that we believe will make its current plan to launch Artemis I in 2021 and ultimately land astronauts on the Moon by the end of 2024 highly unlikely,” the update said.

(more…)

NASA Awards Contract to SpaceX to Launch Initial Elements for Lunar Outpost

An illustration of the Gateway’s Power and Propulsion Element and Habitation and Logistics Outpost in orbit around the Moon. (Credits: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agency’s Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the foundational elements of the Gateway. As the first long-term orbiting outpost around the Moon, the Gateway is critical to supporting sustainable astronauts missions under the agency’s Artemis program.

(more…)

European Gateway Module to be Built in France as Thomas Pesquet Readies for Second Spaceflight

Artemis Gateway orbiting the moon. (Credit: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA signed a contract today with Thales Alenia Space to start building the European module for the lunar Gateway that will provide the new human exploration facility with communications and refuelling.

The Gateway is being built by the partners of the International Space Station and will enable sustainable exploration around – and on – the Moon, while allowing for space research and demonstrating the technologies and processes necessary to conduct a future mission to Mars.

(more…)

Thales Alenia Space Chosen by Northrop Grumman to Provide Pressurized Module for HALO

Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)
  • HALO (Habitation And Logistics Outpost): the initial crew cabin for astronauts visiting the lunar Gateway
  • Derived from Cygnus 10-year success story with Thales Alenia Space flight proven technologies
  • With HALO, Thales Alenia Space is strengthening its contribution to the Lunar Gateway

TURIN, Italy, December 7, 2020 (Thales Alenia Space PR) –  Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has signed a contract with Northrop Grumman to develop the pressurized module for HALO (Habitation And Logistics Outpost) that will be one of the first two elements to form the lunar Gateway which will be launched in late 2023.

(more…)