Artist rendering of the moon

Sustainable Lunar Development Proposals Announced

As NASA Lunar Lander competition comes to a close, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Dynetics unveil their participation in the

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Ashe S.

Ashe S.

Thu Dec 08 2022Written by Ashe S.

Future of Lunar Exploration

On December 6th, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Draper, and Dynetics all unveiled their participation in the Sustainable Lunar Development (SLD) program competition. An earlier phase of this program, the Human Landing System (HLS) program competition, saw SpaceX win a contract to develop and use a variant of their Starship launch system to land the crews of Artemis III and Artemis IV on the lunar surface.

National Team

The National Team is a collaboration between Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Draper for the combined development of a lunar lander platform. This same team competed for the HLS contract in 2019 and 2020, and came in second overall of three to SpaceX’s lander. While little is known about the current proposal design, it will likely not stray too far from their previous lander design. Their concept contained 3 key parts: The Transfer Stage developed by Northrop Grumman, The descent and landing stage developed by Blue Origin, and the Ascent stage developed by Lockheed Martin. However, Northrop has dropped out of the National Team and joined the Dynetics team for the development of its lander.

Dynetics Lander

The only other known participant in the SLD program competition is that of the Dynetics Team. Made up of Dynetics and Ex-National Team member Northrop Grumman, this team also has its past in the previous HLS program competition. Dynetics, while scoring last of the three participants in the HLS competition, had a promising proposal that with the addition of the industry titan Northrop Grumman can hold its own in this new competition. In the same manner of the National Team, it is unknown if the Dynetics Team will be proposing a variation of their previous design, or will be developing a novel concept with Northrop.

Further information will be added as it becomes available.