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Draper Returns to the Moon, Enables the Future of Exploration

Press Release From: Draper Laboratory
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2018

The first time NASA wanted to send humans to the moon it turned to Draper to develop the guidance, navigation and control system that made that possible. As NASA prepares to embark for the moon once more, it has selected a team led by Draper to once again support its mission needs. The Draper team was awarded an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle, today to support NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

“Navigating humans to the moon and back nearly 50 years ago was an incredibly proud moment for the engineers and scientists at Draper,” said Draper President and CEO Kaigham J. Gabriel. “And that legacy continues as we return to the moon and beyond with CLPS.”

The Draper team’s uncrewed lander—dubbed Artemis-7—will complete sample collection and return, demonstrate the use of in-space resources and reduce risk for the production of human landers. These missions pave the way for a human return to the moon, as well as enable human exploration of Mars and beyond.

“The Artemis-7 design will fly multiple times before its first CLPS mission,” explained Seamus Tuohy, principal director of space systems, Draper. “Our lander design has secured substantial private funding. When you combine those investments with the extensible capability of the team and our history of delivering humans to the moon and bringing them back, we’re positioned well to meet NASA’s mission needs.”

The Draper-led team includes General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems; ispace, inc.; and Spaceflight Industries. Draper will provide payload operations, the flight computer, and the guidance, navigation and control systems for the lunar lander, as well as overall management and coordination of the team; General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems will carry out the lunar lander manufacturing, assembly integration and testing in the United States; ispace will act as the design agent for the lunar lander and mission operations, as well as provide high-frequency rideshare opportunities; and Spaceflight Industries Inc. will orchestrate launch services, including integration, mission management, launch and range documentation, and pre- and post-operations.

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