January 15, 2008

NASA Seeks Moon Landing Craft Proposals

The U.S. space agency is seeking proposals for a human landing craft to be used in future exploration of the moon.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Constellation Program officials said the Altair spacecraft will deliver four astronauts to the lunar surface late during the next decade.

The Constellation Program calls for the establishment of an outpost on the moon through a sustainable and affordable series of lunar missions beginning no later than 2020.

By soliciting ideas and suggestions from industry and the science community, NASA hopes to foster a collaborative environment during this early design effort, said Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program manager. Such collaboration will support the development of a safe, reliable and technologically sound vehicle for our crews.

NASA is seeking responses in two primary areas before awarding a prime contract for lunar lander design, development, testing and evaluation. Those areas include an evaluation of NASA's current developmental concept and innovative safety improvements, and recommendations for industry-government partnerships.

NASA said it expects to award study contracts during this year's first quarter. A total of $1.5 million is available for awards, with the maximum individual award being $350,000. The contract performance period is six months.