Author Topic: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)  (Read 173830 times)

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #240 on: 06/01/2019 12:22 am »
Also this from Boeing on a partnership with Intuitive Machines, the precise nature of which is unclear:

https://twitter.com/BoeingSpace/status/1134518678219907072

Quote
We are thrilled to work with @Int_Machines on a robotic lander that could set a course for human-rated landers reaching the moon’s surface in a few years. #Moon2024

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #241 on: 06/01/2019 03:53 am »
See below:

The CLPS teleconference (audio only):



Offline ncb1397

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #242 on: 06/01/2019 05:52 am »
Here is Intuitive Machine's mission animation:

https://twitter.com/Int_Machines/status/1134518095643590656

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #243 on: 06/01/2019 08:50 am »
NASA photos from yesterday’s announcement

Offline GWH

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #244 on: 06/18/2019 01:46 pm »
https://twitter.com/astrobotic/status/1140968955659476993

Astrobotic announced today they are one of two companies performing a lunar lander study to the lunar south pole.
This is for their Griffin lander and Polaris rover - their Peregrine lander having recently received its own CLPS task orders.

The Griffin is considered a medium class lander at 400kg payload, no word yet on who was the other company selected.

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #245 on: 06/18/2019 04:28 pm »
Astrobotic announced today they are one of two companies performing a lunar lander study to the lunar south pole.
This is for their Griffin lander and Polaris rover - their Peregrine lander having recently received its own CLPS task orders.

The Griffin is considered a medium class lander at 400kg payload, no word yet on who was the other company selected.

It sounds like this is task order 3. (task order 2 was the first moon landing, task order 1 the payload user's guide)

Can't believe NASA hasn't made a peep about this and we're waiting to see if the other company has a press release.

Edit: I would tentatively guess that the silence from the other company means it's Lockheed's McCandless lander.  They're the only provider that wouldn't particularly care about trumpeting their acquisition of this task, I think.
« Last Edit: 06/18/2019 04:40 pm by theinternetftw »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #246 on: 07/03/2019 12:59 am »
NASA has selected 12 new science and technology payloads for future CLPS flights:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-12-new-lunar-science-technology-investigations

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #247 on: 07/03/2019 08:45 pm »
NASA has selected 12 new science and technology payloads for future CLPS flights:
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-12-new-lunar-science-technology-investigations

Very cool to see things like spare MAVEN instruments and Spirit/Opportunity robotic arms getting another life.

These are the "whatever you have on hand, let's get them up ASAP" payloads. They're getting the most money upfront to make sure they're ready the second the vehicles are (e.g. $5M right now vs the $1M a year for three years of previous payload announcements).

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #248 on: 07/10/2019 04:40 am »
Crossposting this Firefly news:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Firefly Aerospace announced July 9 it plans to work with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the manufacturer of the Beresheet lunar lander, to develop its own lunar landers for NASA.

Firefly and IAI said they signed intellectual property and engineering support agreements giving Firefly access to the technology IAI developed for the Beresheet lander. Firefly will use that technology to manufacture a version of that lander and offer it to NASA through the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

“This agreement with IAI will allow Firefly to build on our momentum and expand our lunar capabilities by creating a U.S.-built version of IAI’s historic lunar lander,” Tom Markusic, chief executive of Firefly, said in a statement announcing the deal. “Having access to flight proven lunar lander technology and the expertise of IAI engineers makes Firefly well placed to gain a foothold in the cislunar market.”

https://spacenews.com/firefly-to-partner-with-iai-on-lunar-lander/

Firefly had partnered with Intuitive Machines for lander tech.  Now they're the third CLPS provider relying on a foreign design, along with OrbitBeyond, a company formed solely to get TeamIndus around domestic production requirements, and Draper, which is relying on the Japanese company ispace for a lander design.

If NASA went into this wanting to incentivize US companies in such a way that a good many would develop the technology to successfully land on the moon, they should think about what it means that 33% of them (even a large, capable company like Draper that could partner with anybody) have chosen to buy access to a foreign GLXP contender's tech instead (or just plain are a foreign GLXP contender).

Since OrbitBeyond has the earliest launch date (2020) and is one of the three landers to actually get funded by the first task order, if there's no slip then the first US lander to attempt a return to the moon will use a design bought from a company in India, thanks to no US company being ready until 2021.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2019 04:46 am by theinternetftw »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #249 on: 07/10/2019 02:44 pm »
{snip}
If NASA went into this wanting to incentivize US companies in such a way that a good many would develop the technology to successfully land on the moon, they should think about what it means that 33% of them (even a large, capable company like Draper that could partner with anybody) have chosen to buy access to a foreign GLXP contender's tech instead (or just plain are a foreign GLXP contender).

Since OrbitBeyond has the earliest launch date (2020) and is one of the three landers to actually get funded by the first task order, if there's no slip then the first US lander to attempt a return to the moon will use a design bought from a company in India, thanks to no US company being ready until 2021.

The big companies only worked on lunar landers when paid to by the government. The small companies used their own money but had only a small amount of money so it has taken a long time. It will have taken (2021 - 2006 + 1) = 16 years for the NASA Centennial Challenge Program, Google Lunar X Prize, NASA Lunar CATALYST Initiative, Project Morpheus and the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services program (CLPS) to get a lander to the Moon.

Offline gongora

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #250 on: 07/29/2019 09:22 pm »
Orbit Beyond's task order for a lander was canceled



July 29, 2019

Commercial Lunar Payload Services Update

NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services contract was designed for quick access to the Moon with science and technology payloads delivered by commercial partners. Since the project began, NASA has selected nine companies that are eligible to bid on specific task orders based on NASA priorities. The agency also has announced 12 payloads consisting of science instruments developed around the country at NASA centers. Early this month NASA selected 12 additional instruments being developed by outside organizations that would help the agency return to the Moon and have broader applications to Mars and beyond. Those payloads have not yet been assigned flights.

“We know that CLPS missions are going to be challenging for various reasons, and they may not always succeed,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “We’re willing to accept some risk in order to get back to the Moon quickly, with commercial partners, and do exciting science and technology development with broad applications.”

While the first three companies selected to carry payloads to the Moon were announced in May, one of them, Orbit Beyond, Inc., has informed NASA of internal corporate challenges that will prevent the timely completion of its awarded task order. As a result, Orbit Beyond requested to be released from the task order agreement. NASA made a contract administration decision to comply with OBI’s request and, as a result, terminated the task order effective July 28, 2019 on terms mutually agreeable to both parties. Orbit Beyond remains a CLPS contract awardee and may be eligible to compete for future CLPS opportunities.

NASA’s selections of the two other vendors (Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines) are not impacted by this decision. NASA is still on track to having our first science payloads delivered to the lunar surface in 2021. Astrobiotic has proposed to fly as many as 14 payloads to Lacus Mortis, a large crater on the near side of the Moon, by July 2021. Intuitive Machines has proposed to fly as many as five payloads for NASA to Oceanus Procellarum, a scientifically intriguing dark spot on the Moon, by July 2021.

The CLPS program continues to formulate additional requests for task order proposals to expand the scope of NASA payloads requiring transportation services to the lunar surface in advance of human return. CLPS remains strong and the project includes diverse partners helping NASA to get to the lunar surface quickly and efficiently.
« Last Edit: 07/29/2019 09:22 pm by gongora »

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #251 on: 07/29/2019 11:10 pm »
Two months after award. $97M now in flux.

Offline gongora

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #252 on: 07/30/2019 09:41 pm »
(https://www.fbo.gov/notices/16ca548dd57232166a14fdca593e0c90 has the actual solicitation)

NASA Announces Call for Next Phase of Commercial Lunar Payload Services

July 30, 2019  RELEASE 19-064

Commercial landers will carry NASA-provided science and technology payloads to the lunar surface

NASA has announced the latest opportunity for industry to participate in its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) efforts to deliver science and technology payloads to and near the Moon.

The newest announcement calls for companies to push the boundaries of current technology to support the next generation of lunar landers that can land heavier payloads on the surface of the Moon, including the South Pole, as part of the agency’s Artemis program, which will send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, setting the stage for future human exploration of Mars.

NASA anticipates the need for both small and mid-size lunar landers to enable a variety of science investigations and larger technology demonstration payloads that will meet science objectives and human exploration goals. Future payloads could include rovers, power sources, science experiments, and technology to be infused into the Artemis program.

“Our commercial partners are helping us to advance lunar science in an unprecedented way,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. “As we enable broader opportunities for commercial providers through CLPS, we’re enlarging our capabilities to do novel measurements and technology development scientists have long wanted to do at the Moon.”

Any companies newly selected under this call will join the nine CLPS providers already contracted to provide services to the lunar surface to support NASA exploration priorities and use the Moon as a proving ground for systems and technologies that will enable humans to explore Mars. The CLPS project focuses on a speedy return to the Moon and advances scientific and technical goals on many fronts, with selected companies able to compete for delivery task orders.

“The Artemis program integrates our science and human exploration goals, and we are using our commercial partners to help meet those goals with an innovative and cost-effective approach,” said Steven Clarke, NASA deputy associate administrator for exploration in science. “The capability to land heavier payloads on the lunar surface is a service that NASA has a keen interest in. We’re looking forward to innovative proposals and possibly more partners to advance what we’ve already started with CLPS.”

The CLPS contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts with a combined maximum contract value of $2.6 billion with performance through 2028.

For more information about Commercial Lunar Payload Services, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/clps

and

https://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/clps
« Last Edit: 07/30/2019 09:41 pm by gongora »

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #253 on: 07/30/2019 09:55 pm »
SpaceNews story on OrbitBeyond halting their contract:
https://spacenews.com/commercial-lunar-lander-company-terminates-nasa-contract/

One tidbit in there that may give some context to what happened behind the scenes:

Quote from: Jeff Foust
At the May 31 event where NASA announced the contracts, Siba Padhi, chief executive of OrbitBeyond, said the company was still in the process of closing a round of funding. The company has not subsequently announced a funding round.


As for the CLPS on-ramp, looks like it flew under the radar for quite some time, as the post date on fbo.gov is June 20th.

The on-ramp was supposed to happen in 2020, with NASA specifically having told some potential contractors hoping for a 2019 opportunity that 2020 was the only thing coming.  That seems to have changed, with new awardees potentially being accepted by October.

In the on-ramp announcement, NASA indeed talks about wanting mid-size landers:

Quote
NASA now anticipates the need for mid-size lunar landers capable of delivering upwards of 350 to 1000+ kilograms (kg) of useful payload mass to the lunar surface.

But the minimum entry terms are the same as the original CLPS round with the dates shifted out two years:

Quote
The offeror’s ability to provide an intact lunar landed mission that delivers at least 10 kg or greater of NASA payload before December 31, 2023

Edit: Accidentally a word
« Last Edit: 07/30/2019 10:15 pm by theinternetftw »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #254 on: 07/31/2019 01:50 am »
{snip}
In the on-ramp announcement, NASA indeed talks about wanting mid-size landers:

Quote
NASA now anticipates the need for mid-size lunar landers capable of delivering upwards of 350 to 1000+ kilograms (kg) of useful payload mass to the lunar surface.

But the minimum entry terms are the same as the original CLPS round with the dates shifted out two years:

Quote
The offeror’s ability to provide an intact lunar landed mission that delivers at least 10 kg or greater of NASA payload before December 31, 2023

NASA may be after the same companies as the first CLPS round. It may just wants larger landers. The companies would be providing two sizes of lander. NASA picks the appropriate one for the payload.

Any information about what is in the 10 kg test payload?
I suspect that it is a transmitter and something to determine the location of the package.

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #255 on: 07/31/2019 03:28 am »
NASA may be after the same companies as the first CLPS round. It may just wants larger landers. The companies would be providing two sizes of lander. NASA picks the appropriate one for the payload.

Those currently inside CLPS can already offer any lander they choose.  This is for new entrants.

Any information about what is in the 10 kg test payload?

The 10kg payload is the minimum a company can offer to be eligible.  Any real payloads would be assigned later, based on whatever the company's actual payload numbers were.

Offline su27k

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #256 on: 08/01/2019 03:46 am »
Interesting take by mainenginecutoff.com on the latest on-ramp:

Quote
NASA is starting the process of on-ramping new CLPS providers. Most interesting to me in the new call for providers is the extension of the landing ability date from December 2021 to 2024, which NASA explained in the related Q&A document:

Quote
The rationale for this change is that commercial entities seek to develop very capable lander systems that may be ready after 2021 and it may be preferable that such organizations be included now in the CLPS catalog versus later after a future on-ramp process. NASA has stated that the CLPS Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract is designed to last a decade but be immediately useful to NASA to understand payload accommodations, pricing, and schedule of providers. Extending the landing ability date to 2024 is more in keeping with the IDIQ’s procurement strategy and allows NASA to prepare for the mid to large payloads that will need not only more time for development but more discussions on interfaces with providers.

That already sounded a lot like an attempt to get bigger landers like Blue Moon and Starship into the CLPS program

I wonder if CLPS is turning into Launch Service Program (which covers a range of launch vehicles from small to large) for the Moon.

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #257 on: 08/01/2019 10:07 am »
Interesting take by mainenginecutoff.com on the latest on-ramp:

Quote
NASA is starting the process of on-ramping new CLPS providers. Most interesting to me in the new call for providers is the extension of the landing ability date from December 2021 to 2024, which NASA explained in the related Q&A document:

Quote
The rationale for this change is that commercial entities seek to develop very capable lander systems that may be ready after 2021 and it may be preferable that such organizations be included now in the CLPS catalog versus later after a future on-ramp process. NASA has stated that the CLPS Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract is designed to last a decade but be immediately useful to NASA to understand payload accommodations, pricing, and schedule of providers. Extending the landing ability date to 2024 is more in keeping with the IDIQ’s procurement strategy and allows NASA to prepare for the mid to large payloads that will need not only more time for development but more discussions on interfaces with providers.

That already sounded a lot like an attempt to get bigger landers like Blue Moon and Starship into the CLPS program

I wonder if CLPS is turning into Launch Service Program (which covers a range of launch vehicles from small to large) for the Moon.

It'll be interesting to see if Blue Origin or SpaceX are among the potential new entrants (and if not, to know who else could be).

But note that Anthony has made a mistake in that post about the quote.  He's quoted a question from industry as if it was an answer from NASA.  The full question and answer are below.  Looks like he saw the little "a." as the beginning of NASA's answer, but it's not.  Note this also shows the cutoff date is still 2023, not 2024.

Quote
2. Question: According to Section IV.9 of the CLPS RFP (if based upon the template provided from
9/6/2018), it states that one of the Technical Acceptability Standards is “The offeror’s ability to
provide an intact lunar landed mission that delivers at least 10 kg of NASA payload before
December 31, 2021.” We recommend that this First Technical Acceptability Standard be revised
to the following: “The offeror’s ability to provide an intact lunar landed mission that delivers at
least 10 kg of NASA payload before December 31, 2024.” a. The rationale for this change is that
commercial entities seek to develop very capable lander systems that may be ready after 2021
and it may be preferable that such organizations be included now in the CLPS catalog versus
later after a future on-ramp process. NASA has stated that the CLPS Indefinite Delivery /
Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract is designed to last a decade but be immediately useful to
NASA to understand payload accommodations, pricing, and schedule of providers. Extending
the landing ability date to 2024 is more in keeping with the IDIQ’s procurement strategy and
allows NASA to prepare for the mid to large payloads that will need not only more time for
development but more discussions on interfaces with providers. In previous discussions NASA
has indicated that they would consider extending the date of First Technical Acceptability
Standard.

Answer: The NASA anticipates updating the payload delivery date of December 31, 2021 to
December 31, 2023 in the final RFP.

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #258 on: 08/08/2019 04:18 am »
The MECO podcast had the CEO (Steve Altemus) and VP of R&D (Tim Crain) at Intuitive Machines on for an interview about their CLPS lander, Nova-C.

https://mainenginecutoff.com/podcast/129

Highlights:

* First mission is planned for July 2021.

* What NASA was looking for in CLPS: "Delivering payloads to the moon for less than $100M."

* Stories about chasing efficiencies:

  * Engine test stand is built on a flatbed truck they bought at auction. Saved $300,000 just doing that.

  * Landing gear looked like a bicycle frame.  Went and talked to composite bicycle manufacturers, who had tooling and already had the data on materials performance.  Thus can avoid using traditional aerospace suppliers on landing gear.

* Of the $77M awarded, about half is launch costs.

* Had previously said they were on a Falcon 9.  Now saying "In talks with three launch providers, one international, two domestic."  Obviously would prefer domestic. SpaceX is the leading vehicle. Have not made the final downselect. For Falcon 9, would be a secondary payload. Primary payload would be a GTO mission.

* After being dropped off in GTO, Nova-C lander would itself do a burn at periapsis to head towards the moon. Intuitive Machines calls this a "partial TLI."  Unlike Beresheet and others that slowly spiral up (e.g. ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 is in the middle of a 30 day transit), Nova-C would get to the lunar surface within 6.5 days of launch.  Intuitive want to minimize their time within the Van Allen belts.

* Will pull into lunar orbit before landing.  The explanation: Moon is at a 5 degree inclination, Earth has a 23 degree tilt.  Thus the moon moves between 28 and 18 degrees from Earth's equatorial plane.  So when you launch, you aim for where the moon will cross the equatorial plane (which happens two times a month).  But when you get there, lighting at your landing site might not be what you want, i.e. you want to land at lunar morning so you have a full lunar day of light.  So sometimes things might line up just right with timing, and you can spend just a day in lunar orbit (for checkouts, presumably), then land immediately.  Other times you loiter in orbit until lighting conditions are right.

* On payloads: for this first task order, NASA said pick whatever payloads you want from a list. Some providers said they'd just carry all of them, others picked a suite of payloads that could complement each other with the data they collected ("more than the sum of the parts").  Called it CLPS-1.  All of those were NASA payloads.  CLPS-2 will be from 15 non-NASA payloads that were solicited and awarded. NASA is currently working on a series of focused mission designs with specific instruments from that list for CLPS-2, instead of bidders just picking groups of instruments themselves like they did on CLPS-1.  Will put out a variety of "mission types" to bid on, catering to the different capabilities within the CLPS lander catalog.

* Nova-C is 1,700kg fully loaded. Takes 100kg of payload to nearly anywhere on the lunar surface.

* There's no standardized payload integration across providers.  Instead, providers submit detailed documentation on how they plan to integrate payloads to NASA.

* Lunar night survival is not a requirement for the first flight.  They expect around 13.5 days of illumination.  After nightfall, will put forth a best-effort attempt to survive lunar night, then try to talk to it two weeks later.  Will work toward lunar night survival on other missions.

* Have two descent and landing payloads (I think these are private, not the ones they've been assigned). One is a landing velocity sensor. The other is a plume photogrammetry experiment, measuring the interaction of their engine plume with the lunar regolith.  Two other payloads once they get to the surface: a radio observatory and a "navigation station" (powered, so not just a cute name for a retro-reflector).

* Nova-C is seen as extensible all the way to human lunar landings, as well as Mars landings.

* Immediate on the drawing books after winning their first mission is the Nova-D, which is 500kg payload.  Then Nova-M, which is 1000-1500kg to the surface.  Eventually, the descent stage for a human lander system.

* Intuitive is partnered with Boeing for the BAA on the human lander system.  That partnership involves engine technology, cryostorage, fluid management, and precision landing.  Won that contract before winning CLPS-1.

* Looking forward to Mars as well, since ISRU is available for their methalox engine.  Places that in the "next ten years" category, along with a regular commodity-style bus-to-the-moon service for payloads.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2019 04:21 am by theinternetftw »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS)
« Reply #259 on: 08/08/2019 06:08 am »
* Will pull into lunar orbit before landing.  The explanation: Moon is at a 5 degree inclination, Earth has a 23 degree tilt.  Thus the moon moves between 28 and 18 degrees from Earth's equatorial plane.

Nonsense. The Moon's antipode (the approximate point at which you want to perform TLI) moves from 28.5° south to 28.5° north and back to 28.5° south every 28 days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbit_of_the_Moon

« Last Edit: 08/08/2019 06:11 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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