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Northrop Grumman awarded NASA HALO contract

Posted on 17 Jun 2020 and read 576 times
Northrop Grumman awarded NASA HALO contractArtist's illustration

Northrop Grumman Corp has been awarded a contract by NASA to undertake the preliminary design and development of the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), which will be deployed in lunar orbit as the first crew module of the NASA Gateway — a space station designed to orbit the Moon and provide vital support for long-term human exploration of the lunar surface and deep space.

This award follows the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships 2 (NextSTEP-2) Appendix A contract for the fabrication, assembly and delivery of the HALO module.

The HALO design is derived from Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, a ‘human-capable vehicle’ that delivers supplies, spare equipment and scientific experiments to the International Space Station and has completed 13 missions to date.

Steve Krein, vice-president of civil and commercial satellites at Northrop Grumman, said: “The success of our Cygnus spacecraft and its active production line helps to enable Northrop Grumman to deliver the HALO module. HALO is an essential element in NASA’s long-term exploration of deep space, and our HALO programme team will continue its work in building and delivering this module in partnership with NASA.”

The HALO module is a critical component of NASA’s Gateway, serving as both a crew habitat and a docking hub for cis-lunar spacecraft, or spacecraft that navigate between the Earth and the Moon. HALO will feature three docking ports for visiting spacecraft, including the Orion spacecraft and other lunar support vehicles.

Mr Krein said: “From the first lunar lander to the space shuttle boosters and supplying the International Space Station with vital cargo, Northrop Grumman has pioneered new products and ideas that have been put into orbit, on the Moon and in deep space for more than 50 years.

“As a part of NASA’s Artemis programme, we are building on our mission heritage with new innovations to enable NASA to return humans to the Moon, with the ultimate goal of human exploration of Mars.”