Author Topic: HLS Option B and the Sustaining Lunar Development Phase (Appendix P)  (Read 159863 times)

Online yg1968

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NASA Provides Update to Astronaut Moon Lander Plans Under Artemis

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-provides-update-to-astronaut-moon-lander-plans-under-artemis

Quote from: NASA
As NASA makes strides to return humans to the lunar surface under Artemis, the agency announced plans Wednesday to create additional opportunities for commercial companies to develop an astronaut Moon lander.

Under this new approach, NASA is asking American companies to propose lander concepts capable of ferrying astronauts between lunar orbit and the lunar surface for missions beyond Artemis III, which will land the first astronauts on the Moon in more than 50 years.

Built and operated according to NASA’s long-term requirements at the Moon, new landers will have the capability to dock to a lunar orbiting space station known as Gateway, increase crew capacity, and transport more science and technology to the surface.

“Under Artemis, NASA will carry out a series of groundbreaking missions on and around the Moon to prepare for the next giant leap for humanity: a crewed mission to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Competition is critical to our success on the lunar surface and beyond, ensuring we have the capability to carry out a cadence of missions over the next decade. Thank you to the Biden Administration and Congress for their support of this new astronaut lander opportunity, which will ultimately strengthen and increase flexibility for Artemis.”

NASA’s plans call for long-term lunar exploration and include landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon as part of future Artemis missions. The agency is pursuing two parallel paths for continuing lunar lander development and demonstration, one that calls for additional work under an existing contract with SpaceX, and another open to all other U.S. companies to provide a new landing demonstration mission from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon.

In April 2021, NASA selected SpaceX as its partner to land the next American astronauts on the lunar surface. That demonstration mission is targeted for no earlier than April 2025. Exercising an option under the original award, NASA now is asking SpaceX to transform the company’s proposed human landing system into a spacecraft that meets the agency’s requirements for recurring services for a second demonstration mission. Pursuing more development work under the original contract maximizes NASA’s investment and partnership with SpaceX.

To bring a second entrant to market for the development of a lunar lander in parallel with SpaceX, NASA will issue a draft solicitation in the coming weeks. This upcoming activity will lay out requirements for a future development and demonstration lunar landing capability to take astronauts between orbit and the surface of the Moon. This effort is meant to maximize NASA’s support for competition and provides redundancy in services to help ensure NASA’s ability to transport astronauts to the lunar surface.

This upcoming second contract award, known as the Sustaining Lunar Development contract, combined with the second option under SpaceX’s original landing award, will pave the way to future recurring lunar transportation services for astronauts at the Moon.

“This strategy expedites progress toward a long-term, sustaining lander capability as early as the 2026 or 2027 timeframe,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, program manager for the Human Landing System Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “We expect to have two companies safely carry astronauts in their landers to the surface of the Moon under NASA’s guidance before we ask for services, which could result in multiple experienced providers in the market.”

After the new draft solicitation is published, NASA will host a virtual industry day. Once comments and questions from the draft solicitation process have been reviewed, the agency plans by to issue the formal request for proposals this summer.

Astronaut Moon landers are a vital part of NASA’s deep space exploration plans, along with the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, ground systems, and Gateway. NASA is committed to using a commercial astronaut lunar lander to carry the astronauts to the surface of the Moon, expanding exploration and preparing humanity for the next giant leap, human exploration of Mars.

For more information about this procurement, visit:

https://go.nasa.gov/3twqf6g

Draft BAA: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=56067.msg2355657#msg2355657

Final BAA: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=56067.msg2427585#msg2427585

Update page: https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/humanlander4

Sustainability requirements: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=53708.msg2306057#msg2306057

NASA Spending on Options A & B: https://www.usaspending.gov/award/CONT_AWD_80MSFC20C0034_8000_-NONE-_-NONE-
« Last Edit: 02/12/2023 07:49 pm by yg1968 »

Online yg1968

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See also below:

Quote from: NASA
March 23, 2022 – NASA announced plans to initiate a new Human Landing System (HLS) Sustaining Lunar Development procurement to develop and demonstrate a lunar lander that meets NASA’s sustaining requirements for missions beyond Artemis III. In the coming weeks, NASA will issue a draft NextSTEP Appendix P solicitation for this procurement, and will engage industry about this solicitation by conducting a virtual industry forum and one-on-one meetings with interested companies. Following NASA’s review of industry feedback in response to the draft solicitation, NASA plans to issue a final solicitation this summer. Details about the Industry Forum, including connection instructions for virtual participation, are forthcoming.

https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/humanlander4

Online yg1968

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See the Press conference: Media Briefing: Sustaining Lunar Development


Online yg1968

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Here is my summary of the press conference:

-Nelson said that there should be good news in the FY23 Budget (presumably for HLS).
-Free said that this procurement should allow SpaceX to continue offering HLS services and another HLS provider.
-They are splitting development and services says Lisa Watson-Morgan.
-RFP at the end of the month.
-SpaceX can bid for Option B! (Incidentally, only SpaceX is eligible for Option B because you need to win an award under Option A to be eligible for Option B).
-The sustainable development procurement for the second HLS provider will have an uncrewed and a crewed demo missions.
-2026 and 2027 timeframe is what they are looking for the landers (they haven't assigned the landers to a specific Artemis mission yet).
-Contract for the new provider would be awarded around January 1st (presumably when the FY23 appropriations bills are enacted).
-A reporter asked, is SLS necessary to carry crew when landing on the Moon? Nelson said yes.
-Procurement for the new provider will be similar to Option A/B (at 23 minutes of the teleconference).
-Both Option B & Appendix P will have options and if a provider isn't progressing as expected or if NASA doesn't have enough funding, it will be possible not to exercise these options (at 48 minutes).
-SpaceX uncrewed Starship HLS mission is planned for 2024 at this time.
-Somebody asked how many flights does Starship need. No answer.
-Question about the uncrewed Starship demo. Goal is to land but we will see if there are other goals after that.
-Free says that there is no uncrewed demo under Option B. He said that he made a mistake, there is only one crewed demo under Option B.
-Lisa Watson-Morgan said that they are looking at putting science on the uncrewed demo mission. She also says that NASA is inquiring about HLS cargo lander missions (in the 14mt range) and asking providers to give them price estimates for those (at 1h3m of the teleconference).
« Last Edit: 11/19/2022 11:22 pm by yg1968 »

Online yg1968

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Overall, this is good news. SpaceX is almost sure to get another HLS Starship mission (likely Artemis V). The procurement for the second provider will only be awarded if there is enough funding for it. My guess is that there will be. I am guessing that the FY2023 Budget will be over $2B for HLS and that this amount will get appropriated at the beginning of 2023.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 08:17 pm by yg1968 »

Online yg1968

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See my summary below:

There is two contracts. One is for Option B (of Appendix H) for SpaceX. Option B was described in the original BAA: it's a sustainable crewed demo mission. Only companies that won Option A (SpaceX) are eligible for Option B. So SpaceX will win that option by default. 

A new Appendix P is being provided for the second lander. This new Appendix P is likely to be similar to Option A & B with one uncrewed and one crewed sustainable demo mission. LETS is dead.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 09:10 pm by yg1968 »

Offline JayWee

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Let's hope the next round of proposals is more sensible than the last one. Especially since it won't be a race-to-2024.
I particulary wonder if BO will go for New Glenn based architecture this time.

I just wish these things had more sensible names. Way too many letters! Confusing!
« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 09:06 pm by JayWee »

Online yg1968

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Let's hope the next round of proposals is more sensible than the last one. Especially since it won't be a race-to-2024.
I particulary wonder if BO will go for New Glenn based architecture this time.

It's funny that you should say that. Lisa Watson-Morgan said that she spoke to the companies during Appendix N and they seem confident that they will have better proposals for this next round. NASA is providing them feedback on their proposal which helps.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 09:11 pm by yg1968 »

Online yg1968

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See below:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1506732905829056513

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-provides-update-to-astronaut-moon-lander-plans-under-artemis
Quote
In April 2021, NASA selected SpaceX as its partner to land the next American astronauts on the lunar surface. That demonstration mission is targeted for no earlier than April 2025. Exercising an option under the original award, NASA now is asking SpaceX to transform the company’s proposed human landing system into a spacecraft that meets the agency’s requirements for recurring services for a second demonstration mission. Pursuing more development work under the original contract maximizes NASA’s investment and partnership with SpaceX.

Online yg1968

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One thing that I wish that a reporter would have asked is the timing of Option B. Like Option A, Option B requires a new solicitation, so it's a not just a matter of exercising an option. My guess is that Option B will be awarded before Appendix P since it fits under the current budget. 

Online yg1968

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Offline JayWee

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Did anyone ask Nelson when he's going to visit Boca Chica?

Online yg1968

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Did anyone ask Nelson when he's going to visit Boca Chica?

No. 

Online yg1968

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Online yg1968

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Online Robotbeat

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So… does this mean SpaceX has been awarded a second crewed mission for Starship HLS? Kind of confusing.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline M.E.T.

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Monumental waste of money. I couldn’t articulate it better than the individual below, who you might or might not be familiar with:

https://twitter.com/rookisaacman/status/1506715061137649674?s=21

https://twitter.com/rookisaacman/status/1506722584288706568?s=21
« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 10:43 pm by M.E.T. »

Offline Hyperborealis

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Given that NASA is setting up a dual track procurement for HLS providers, what exactly does Jim Free mean in this Irene Klotz' tweet?

"But: NASA says the SpaceX contract option &  new award will have provisions so agency cut the program if it does not receive adequate funding of if contractor fails to make progress. “We’re not buying both landers at the same time," said NASA's Jim Free."

https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/1506746945796247559?s=20&t=At2jN8zRcDshAImeo09YCQ

Are they proposing to fund one track, then the other? Are they setting up a Congressional popularity contest, where whichever contractor that can lobby up funding for their track gets to fly?

Separate question: do we have information on how NASA wants SpaceX to revise its proposal "into a spacecraft that meets the agency’s requirements for recurring services?" What additional or revised requirements does NASA have in mind?

« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 10:52 pm by Hyperborealis »

Online yg1968

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So… does this mean SpaceX has been awarded a second crewed mission for Starship HLS? Kind of confusing.

Not yet. But Option B is only available to Option A winners. So everyone but SpaceX is disqualified. But Option B still requires a solicitation which hasn't been issued yet. 

Online yg1968

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Separate question: do we have information on how NASA wants SpaceX to revise its proposal "into a spacecraft that meets the agency’s requirements for recurring services?" What additional or revised requirements does NASA have in mind?

There is some discussions of Option B in the original November 2019 Appendix H BAA (attached).
« Last Edit: 03/23/2022 11:10 pm by yg1968 »

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