Human Landing System
A National Team for a National Priority
NASA’s Artemis Program has a bold challenge to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024 – returning Americans to the lunar surface, opening the Moon for business, and building a path to Mars. To achieve these ambitious objectives, NASA released a solicitation for industry to develop the final piece of its Artemis lunar architecture, the Human Landing System (HLS). The National Team integrates four companies each having a head start for this fast-paced program. We are working on a flexible, multi-element, commercial, and sustainable solution for NASA’s HLS effort.
The National Team comprises Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper. Together we are developing a Human Landing System for NASA’s Artemis program to return Americans to the lunar surface by 2024. Our team brings decades of experience with human space flight systems, launch vehicles, propulsion, orbital logistics, deep-space missions, interplanetary navigation, and planetary landings. Our combined experience uniquely positions NASA to execute the Artemis program.
Each partner brings industry-leading solutions matched to the needs of HLS:
Blue Origin is providing the Descent Element that is based on the Blue Moon cargo lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, which have been in development for three years. Variants can meet a range of delivery capabilities for both crew and cargo anywhere on the Moon’s surface, including the lunar South Pole. The lander’s autonomy, guidance, vertical landing architecture, powerful and throttleable liquid engines, and lean operations – leveraging technologies developed and in service on New Shepard.
Lockheed Martin is providing the crewed Ascent Element and is leading the crewed flight operations and training. The Ascent Element draws heavily from Lockheed Martin’s experience developing NASA’s Orion spacecraft, from direct build-to-print items to multiple common subsystems.
Northrop Grumman Corporation provides the Transfer Element that brings the landing system down toward the Moon, maximizing delivered mass for both crew and cargo. The Transfer Element is based on its Cygnus cargo module, which has flown 13 resupply missions to the International Space Station.
Flight Avionics and Descent Guidance
Draper leads descent guidance and flight avionics, leveraging crew-rated algorithms that Draper has demonstrated on previous NASA exploration missions.
This Time to Stay
The National Team’s approach to long-term sustainability focuses on reusability to increase affordability. More capable and longer missions to more locations on the surface will enable permanent, sustained surface operations, habitation, and development of lunar resources. The National Team looks forward to embarking on the next steps with NASA and returning to the Moon – this time to stay.
We’re Going to the Moon
The National Team’s partnership brings NASA immense experience developing, integrating, and operating launch systems, human-rated spacecraft, and planetary landers. This gives the National Team a head start on every element required for HLS. In addition, significant concurrent private investment delivers the best value for the nation. With a flexible launch approach and system architecture built for sustainability – the National Team will meet this bold national challenge.