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AIAA Statement: NASA selection of Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX for Artemis Lunar Lander Development

Press Release From: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2020

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds NASA’s selection of Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX to develop modern human landing systems (HLS) to carry the first woman and next man to the surface of the moon by 2024.

“The aerospace community is moving forward and driving innovation, even during these difficult times,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “We celebrate the spirit of exploration and are excited about the future of the space program with the selection of Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX to develop Artemis lunar lander systems. By working with the commercial sector to create a sustainable way to fly to the moon and beyond, NASA can pick the ‘best of the best’ approaches developed by these innovative companies.”

Projects that are developed under the Artemis program such as the lunar lander help spur innovation and contribute to economic output, Dumbacher added. “Aerospace is a powerful driver of the economy and will be key to the overall economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” he said. 

The human landing system awards under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP-2) Appendix H Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) are firm-fixed price, milestone-based contracts. The total combined value for all awarded contracts is $967 million for the 10-month base period. 

Blue Origin of Kent, Washington, is developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV) – a three-stage lander to be launched on its own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system. Blue Origin announced Draper, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman as its partners for the lunar lander bid during the International Astronautical Congress in October 2019, which was hosted by AIAA.

Dynetics (a Leidos company) of Huntsville, Alabama, is developing the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) – a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system. Dynetics was purchased by Leidos Holdings Inc. in January and has partnered with Sierra Nevada Corp. for the lander development.

SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is developing the Starship – a fully integrated lander that will use the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket. As part of its partnership with NASA, SpaceX has flown 20 resupply missions to the International Space Station and will bring that experience along with their other efforts to developing a lunar lander.

“Building a sustainable space ecosystem will take all of our creativity, determination and talent,” Dumbacher said. “I encourage students to explore how they could become part of this amazing and meaningful community.”

About AIAA
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 85 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

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