Astroport Space to Continue Work on Lunar Landing, Launch Sites for NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded Texas-headquartered Astroport Space Technologies its second Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer contract for the development of landing pads on the lunar surface. The latest award is a follow-on to an earlier Phase 1 STTR-21 award on regolith melting technologies and a robotic bricklaying system for the construction of infrastructure on the moon, Astroport said Monday.
In a statement, the company said that, together with its partner, the University of Texas at San Antonio, it will develop geotechnical engineering processes to enable NASA spacecraft to safely land and take off from the moon’s unconsolidated soil, called regolith. Specifically, the work will cover the preparation of a lunar landing and launch pad and the construction of a blast shield to protect astronauts during lift-offs from the moon.
Sam Ximenes, Astroport’s founder, chief executive officer and space architect, said he is encouraged by the confidence that NASA has placed on the company’s ability to define and develop technologies and processes for lunar infrastructure construction. He added that his team’s goal is to further advance geotechnical and civil engineering processes for bulk regolith manipulation.
It was further explained that the new contract calls for developing a plan for preparing lunar landing and launch sites using multiple machines operating autonomously or in remote control mode. NASA’s website describes the moon’s unstable regolith surface as being made up of loose, unconsolidated rock, mineral and glass fragments produced by meteorite impacts.
Tags: Astroport Space Technologies contract award landing pads lunar exploration NASA Small Business Technology Transfer space