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Northrop Secures $935M NASA Contract for Gateway Module Development

HALO module contract

Northrop Secures $935M NASA Contract for Gateway Module Development

Northrop Grumman has received a $935 million contract from NASA to create and integrate a habitation module for the lunar Gateway.

The Habitation and Logistics Outpost module will serve as a habitat for visiting astronauts and a command post for the lunar orbiting facility, NASA said on July 9.

HALO will have docking ports for Orion spacecraft, cargo vehicles such as the SpaceX Dragon XL and for later modules to be added by international partners, SpaceNews reported.

The contract provides for the assembly of the HALO module and for its integration with the Gateway module called the Power and Propulsion Element, which is being developed by Maxar Technologies.

The firm-fixed-price deal also calls on Northrop to prepare the combined modules for launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

Additionally, the company will perform activation and checkout activities for the module after its launch.

The HALO module will be based on the Cygnus spacecraft, which Northrop uses to transport cargo to the International Space Station.

By using the active Cygnus production line, the company can provide an “affordable and reliable” module in the time frame that NASA needs to support the Artemis program, according to Steve Krein, the vice president of civil and commercial satellites at Northrop. 

Northrop and NASA have been working on HALO for two years.

In 2019, NASA announced that it would issue a sole-source contract to the Falls Church, Virginia-headquartered company for a habitation module based on its work under the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships award in 2016. 

In 2020, the space agency awarded Northrop a $187 million contract that covered services for HALO’s preliminary design review.

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Category: Space

Tags: Cygnus spacecraft Habitation and Logistics Outpost HALO lunar Gateway Maxar NASA Northrop Grumman Power and Propulsion Element PPE space SpaceNews Steve Krein