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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Applauds NASA Commercial Partnerships to Advance Technologies for the Moon, Mars

Press Release From: Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2020

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) applauds NASA’s partnerships with U.S. commercial companies to further development of innovative technologies to sustainably return to the Moon as a part of STMD’s Tipping Point Technologies. Long-term sustainable exploration on the lunar surface, and ultimately Mars, requires an integrated effort that includes the development of multiple capabilities. Public-private partnerships with commercial companies are fundamental to developing these capabilities.

“Commercial companies, under commercial partnerships, are advancing the state of the art for NASA,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.  “Commercial spaceflight companies have been leading the world in advancing innovative technologies in partnership with NASA, and these awards are another step towards expanding that leadership.”

Five of the awards will go to CSF member companies:

  • Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California,
    • $10 million to demonstrate precision landing and hazard avoidance testing capabilities across relevant lunar trajectories. Masten will mature its Xogdor vehicle to provide researchers from government, academia, and industry with a new platform for testing space technologies.
    • $2.8 million to build and demonstrate a universal chemical heat and electrical power source attachment that lets payloads survive the extreme environments encountered during the lunar night and in craters.
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation of Madison, Wisconsin,
    • $2.4 million to develop demonstration-scale hardware that uses methane and concentrated solar energy to extract oxygen from lunar regolith. The hardware could be tested on a commercial lunar lander to prove a full-scale production plant’s viability using this process.
  • SpaceX of Hawthorne, California,
    • $53.2 million for large-scale flight demonstration to transfer 10 metric tons of cryogenic propellant, specifically liquid oxygen, between tanks on a Starship vehicle. SpaceX will collaborate with Glenn and Marshall.
  • SSL Robotics of Pasadena, California,
    • $8.7 million to develop a lighter and less expensive robotic arm for lunar surface applications, in-orbit servicing, and terrestrial defense applications.

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