Northrop Grumman completes design review for astronaut living quarters
Falls Church contractor working on 2024 Artemis mission to take astronauts back to moon
Falls Church-based Fortune 100 defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. announced Wednesday it has completed the initial preliminary design review (PDR) for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), which will serve as living quarters for astronauts at the Lunar Gateway mini space station during lunar exploration missions.
The HALO design was inspired by Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, which delivers supplies, equipment and experiments to the International Space Station. It’s part of NASA’s Artemis program. The company announced in June its Orbital Sciences Corp. business had won a $187 million NASA contract to design the Gateway living quarters.
A successor to the Apollo moon landing program of the 1960s and ’70s, Artemis will see NASA land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024.
“By basing the HALO module on Cygnus, we are able to deliver an affordable and reliable flight-proven product on an accelerated timeline,” Steve Krein, Northrop Grumman vice president of civil and commercial satellites, said in a statement. “Maturing HALO through its preliminary design marks a major milestone in the module’s production.”
The HALO module will serve as a crew habitat and docking hub for vehicles traveling between Earth and the moon. It can accommodate up to four astronauts for up to 30 days, according to Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman is also partnering on the Blue Origin-led team to develop the human landing system (HLS) for the Artemis program. It will provide the transfer element vehicle that lowers the landing system into low lunar orbit. Northrop Grumman will also deliver boosters for the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion Ascent Abort System.
Northrop Grumman employs more than 90,000 people and reported $33.8 billion in 2019 revenue.