NASA has finalised a contract for the moon outpost living quarters.
NASA and Northrop Grumman of Dulles, Virginia, have finalised the agreement to develop the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) for Gateway, which will be a critical way station and outpost in orbit around the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program.
HALO is where astronauts will live and conduct research while visiting the Gateway.
The pressurised living quarters will provide command and control systems for the lunar outpost, and docking ports for visiting spacecraft, such as NASA’s Orion spacecraft, lunar landers, and logistics resupply craft.
NASA and its commercial and international partners are building Gateway to support science investigations and enable surface landings at the Moon, which will help prepare astronauts for future missions to Mars.
The firm, fixed-price contract is valued at $935 million.
Under the contract, Northrop Grumman will be responsible for attaching and testing the integrated HALO with the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), being built by Maxar Technologies.
Northrop Grumman will also lead the integrated PPE and HALO spacecraft turnover and launch preparation with SpaceX, and support activation and checkout of HALO during the flight to lunar orbit.
NASA is targeting November 2024 to launch the integrated spacecraft on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.