WASHINGTON – NASA will launch an official call for proposals later this summer for freight forwarding services for its Lunar Gateway, seeking to replicate this effort as part of the Space Station's commercial cargo program.
NASA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its Gateway Logistics Program on June 14, soliciting industry feedback by July 10th. The agency will also hold a day dedicated to the program at the Kennedy Space Center on June 26, before subsequently issuing a final RFP. in summer.
NASA plans to acquire services under the unloader and pressure cargo transport program to the Moon Bridge, as well as the elimination of bridge cargoes, similar to the services it now uses to transport cargo. shipments to and from the International Space Station. This is the last part of an ongoing effort to maximize commercial services under the Artemis program, which aims to place humans on the southern pole of the moon by 2024 and to establish a sustainable human presence on the moon by 2028.
"The gateway, and in particular our logistics sourcing needs, allow the deep space supply chain to take a new step in the commercialization of space," said Mark Wiese, head of the 39, logistics element of the gateway at KSC, in a statement from NASA.
According to the Statement of Work and the requirement documents included in the draft RFP, each mission would be required to deliver at least 3,400 kilograms of pressurized cargo and 1,000 kilograms of unpressurized cargo at the bridge. . The spacecraft must be able to stay moored at the front door for up to three years and leave with at least as much cargo as it has delivered for scrapping it "in an orbit of destruction at the end of mission approved by the government or stable, or by another government agency – approved disposal site. "
The company providing the logistic services would be responsible for launching the cargo spaceship, NASA only having to configure the vehicle that made at least one successful launch before the first cargo mission.
The RFP does not mention flight rates for such missions, but indicates that only one logistic mission is designed to support two upkeep crew visits of up to 90 days each. NASA is currently planning a crewed mission a year at least until the late 2020s.
The draft RFP includes options for additional logistical services beyond the basic transport of both pressurized and non-pressurized cargo. This includes the possibility of "rapid transit" of the cargo spacecraft so that it arrives at the bridge within 30 days of its launch. Other options include refueling, additional payload power, long-term housing and the possibility of being co-manifested during a launch services mission in the United States. ;space.
NASA will provide a firm fixed price contract for logistics services, worth up to $ 7 billion over 15 years. Marshall Smith, director of lunar human exploration programs at NASA headquarters, said in a NASA statement that the agency could offer "multiple contracts" for logistics services.