Seven NASA NextSTEP habitat projects will have initial performance periods of up to 12 months, at a value of $400,000 to $1 million for the study and development efforts, and the potential for follow-on phases to be defined during the initial phase.
Habitation systems selections will help define the architecture and subsystems of a modular habitation capability to enable extended missions in deep space. Orion is the first component of human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and will be capable of sustaining a crew of four for 21 days in deep space and returning them safely to Earth.
These selections are intended to augment the Orion capsule with the development of capabilities to initially sustain a crew of four for up to 60 days in cis-lunar space with the ability to scale up to transit habitation capabilities for future Mars missions. The selected projects will address concepts and, in some cases, provide advancement in technologies related to habitation and operations, or environmental control and life support capabilities of a habitation system.
The selected companies are:
* Bigelow Aerospace LLC of North Las Vegas, Nevada
* The Boeing Company of Pasadena, Texas
* Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama
* Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International of Windsor Locks, Connecticut
* Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver, Colorado
* Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia
* Orbital Technologies Corporation of Madison, Wisconsin
A slowly rotating dumbell shaped pair of stations could provide force that would counter the lack of gravity on a mission to Mars
The CubeSat projects selected through this award will potentially fly as secondary payload missions on the first flight of the Space Launch System, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). CubeSat selections will address NASA’s strategic knowledge gaps in order to reduce risk, increase effectiveness, and improve the design of robotic and human space exploration.
EM-1 will provide a rare opportunity to boost these CubeSats to deep space and enable science, technology demonstration, exploration or commercial applications in that environment. The two NextSTEP CubeSat projects will have fixed-price contracts with technical and payment milestones and total values for the entire development and operations of $1.4 to $7.9 million per award. The selected companies are:
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Denver, Colorado
Morehead State University of Morehead, Kentucky
SOURCES – NASA, Bigelow