Leidos subsidiary tapped to develop lunar landing system
Dynetics is one three companies selected by NASA to develop lander for Artemis manned moon missions.
Dynetics, a wholly owned aerospace subsidiary of Reston-based defense contractor Leidos, is one of three prime contractors awarded contracts by NASA to design the human lunar landing system that will take the first woman and next man to the moon’s surface by 2024. The other two aerospace companies are Amazon.com Inc. President and CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin LLC and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The total combined value of the awarded contracts is $967 million. Over a 10-month period, each of three companies will be developing competing designs for the human landing system for NASA’s Artemis program moon missions. One of the companies will be selected to build its lunar landing system.
“There’s really no more exciting mission than delivering humans to other planetary bodies,” Kim Doering, vice president of space systems for Huntsville, Alabama,-based Dynetics, said in a statement. “However, it’s also among the most challenging endeavors, particularly given the goal of landing on the moon in 2024. We believe Dynetics has the recipe for success.”
Dynetics’ concept is a single-stage system that will be launched on a NASA’s Space Launch System Block 1B vehicle or a Vulcan Centaur rocket, both of which are under development. It will have the ability to ferry two to four crew members back and forth from the lunar surface to orbit and can function as a surface habitat for a week. The company will have a long list of partners and subcontractors assisting it with designing the lunar landing system, including Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space and Massachusetts-based Draper Laboratory.
Formerly known as Science Applications International Corp., Leidos acquired Dynetics for $1.65 billion in February in an all-cash transaction. Dynetics is also delivering critical hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System Core Stage, Exploration Upper Stage and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle as well as the International Space Station.
“As a new member of the Leidos family, Dynetics continues to lead the industry with talented innovators eager to solve today’s complex problems,” said Leidos Chairman and CEO Roger Krone. “NASA’s [human lunar landing system] is truly innovative and one that will revolutionize space travel. We are fully committed to this endeavor and proud to join the team returning Americans to the moon.”
Blue Origin is developing its three-stage lunar lander concept in cooperation with Lockheed Martin Corp., Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and Draper Laboratory. SpaceX has been testing prototypes of its Starship landing system in Texas.