NASA has finalized a $935 million contract with Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman for a moon outpost living quarters for astronauts as part of its Artemis program, which will eventually return humans to the surface of the moon.
The pressurized living quarters is where astronauts will live and conduct research. Northrop will develop the Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO, for Gateway, a way station in orbit around the moon, being developed by NASA and several contractors.
Northrop will be responsible for attaching and testing the habitat, as well as lead spacecraft turnover and launch preparation with SpaceX. NASA is currently targeting November 2024 to launch the spacecraft on a SpaceX rocket.
“This is a major step on the path for Artemis, not just for NASA, but for the combined team, including our commercial and international partners,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations.
“Gateway will provide unprecedented access to the moon and symbolizes the expansion of our partnerships into deep space.”
Northrop Grumman has already completed preliminary design review, and will now finish design and construction at its Gilbert, Arizona, facility. Its design is based on Northrop’s Cygnus spacecraft, which has already completed 15 resupply missions to the International Space Station.
NASA has details about the HALO Gateway project online.