The American multinational of aerospace and defense technology, Northrop Grumman has received a new $ 935 million contract from NASA to develop HALO, the Habitation and Logistics Outpost for the lunar gateway.
It will be a critical transit station and outpost in orbit around the Moon, part of the project Artemis.
NASA and its trading and international partners are building Gateways to support scientific investigations and enable surface landings on the Moon, which will help prepare astronauts for future missions to Mars.
HALO, a lunar and modular module
HALO will be the first element to be launched into space, together with the power and propulsion unit, to form the Gateway station of the Artemis program. It is on HALO that astronauts will live and conduct research while visiting the Gateway.
In lunar orbit, the pressurized housing will provide command and control systems for the lunar outpost and docking ports for other visiting spacecraft, lunar landers, and logistical supply facilities.
HALO, space outpost
The HALO module will act as the backbone for command, control and distribution of power through the Gateway. It will also perform other key functions, including communicating with expeditions to the lunar surface and other scientific experiments. It will be an expandable structure, which can change shape and size as needed.
HALO will be the hub of the entire Gateway, enabling humanity's first permanent outpost orbiting the Moon. The Gateway will be in an orbit that will allow NASA and its international and commercial partners to conduct scientific and technological investigations never before carried out in deep space, and to carry out sustainable lunar explorations.
A previous contract for HALO, awarded in June 2020 , financed a first review of the preliminary project. The module review process, completed in May this year, evaluated all spacecraft design to ensure the overall system is safe and reliable for flight and meets NASA's mission requirements.
Closer and closer
NASA is building the infrastructure to expand human exploration in the solar system more than ever. It will include Gateway, the lunar space station that will help us make inspiring scientific discoveries on and around the Moon. Equally important, we will be able to further develop and test the technology and science needed for a human journey to Mars.Bill nelson, NASA administrator, in a recent statement
Under NASA's Artemis program, eight countries have signed an international agreement to conduct research on the moon. NASA is now seeking to set standards for the creation of long-term settlements on the lunar surface.