NASA announces study proposal on design of human lunar lander

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Constellation Program has released a broad agency announcement for study proposals to evaluate human landing craft concepts for exploring the moon.

The Altair spacecraft will deliver four astronauts to the lunar surface late in the next decade. NASA plans to establish 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,
the 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 the release of a prime contract for lunar lander design, development, test and evaluation. Those areas include an evaluation of NASA’s
current developmental concept and innovative safety improvements, and recommendations for industry-government partnerships.

This broad agency announcement will be open to industry for 30 days from the issue date of Jan. 11.

NASA expects to award study contracts in the first quarter of 2008. A total of $1.5 million is available for awards. The maximum individual award amount is $350,000. The contract performance
period is six months.

The Constellation Program, based at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, manages the Altair Project for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Constellation is developing a new space
transportation system that is designed to travel beyond low Earth orbit. The Constellation fleet includes the Orion crew exploration vehicle, the Ares I and Ares V launch vehicles and Altair
human lunar lander.

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