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NASA Seeks Concept Proposals for Future Moon Lander

January 28, 2009

On Wednesday, NASA issued a request for proposals for concept definition and requirements analysis support for the Altair lunar lander. Proposals are due to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston by 2 p.m. CST on Feb. 27.

NASA’s Constellation Program will use Altair to land four astronauts on the moon following launch aboard an Ares V rocket and rendezvous in low Earth orbit with the Orion crew vehicle. The lunar lander will provide the astronauts with life support and a base for weeklong initial surface exploration missions of the moon. Altair also will return the crew to the Orion spacecraft that will return them home to Earth.

This contract will provide resources to conduct NASA-directed engineering tasks in support of evaluating vehicle conceptual designs, maturing the vehicle design and reviewing the products for system requirements reviews and system definition reviews. It is anticipated that multiple awards will be made as a result of this solicitation.

Johnson will manage the contracts, which will be awarded through a full and open competition. The selections will be made in the spring of 2009.

Image Caption: A concept image shows the Ares V cargo launch vehicle. The heavy-lifting Ares V is NASA’s primary vessel for safe, reliable delivery of large-scale hardware to space. This includes the Altair lunar lander, materials for establishing a permanent moon base, and the vehicles and hardware needed to extend a human presence beyond Earth orbit. Ares V can carry approximately 290,000 pounds to low Earth orbit and 144,000 pounds to lunar orbit. Image credit: NASA/MSFC

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