NASA partners complicate plans for ISS replacement construction

NASA’s plan to retire the International Space Station and replace it with a commercial project isn’t over, it’s just changing. Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef program is now beginning to show wrinkles, while Northrop Grumman’s unnamed space station project may never come to fruition.

ars technica report Northrop Grumman may end its contract with NASA to develop a commercial space station to fill the gap left by the soon-to-be-retired ISS, the company said. The outlet cited anonymous sources. International Astronautical Congress, in a lawsuit currently underway in Azerbaijan, the company claims to permanently terminate the contract under the Space Law Treaty. Instead, Northrop Grumman will reportedly join Voyager Space and Airbus to develop a commercial orbital laboratory.

In 2021, NASA signs contract with Northrop GrummanBlue Origin and Nanolux are developing a successor to the International Space Station, and their contract with Northrop Grumman is worth $125.6 million.

Northrop Grumman and NASA did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s requests for comment.

On the other hand, Reuters reported that report Fractures continue to occur between Collaboration between Blue Origin and Sierra Space Design a replacement for the ISS. According to the outlet, Blue Origin plans to disband the team assigned to work on Orbital Reef. “Composite business park” with limited space Developed in cooperation with Sierra Space.

Blue Origin and NASA confirmed to Gizmodo in an email Friday that Orbital Reef remains full steam ahead as a subcontractor to Sierra Space. Sierra Space is expected to provide a Large Scale Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat for Orbital Reef. The habitat consists of a three-story platform designed for both low-Earth orbit and long-term missions, and can accommodate habitat and science efforts.

Space station planned to be announced in 2021 Passed system definition review in August 2022, NASA approved Blue Origin’s project plans, allowing the company to move into the design phase. According to Reuters, some of the staff originally assigned to the space station have reportedly been reassigned to work on the lunar module Blue Moon.The lander has since been developed Blue Origin wins $3.4 billion contract The company will work with Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper, Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics to build and test manned landing systems. The fully reusable Blue Moon lander will carry a crew of four and is expected to be part of the Artemis 5 mission, scheduled to launch in 2029. Brent Sherwood, the company’s head of advanced development programs, is aiming to exit the company by the end of the year, the newspaper reported.

“We are actively working on the design and testing of a number of deliverables we will submit to NASA for the CLD Phase 1 contract, and this work will help shape NASA’s CLD Phase 2 destination goals. We’re excited about how it can help,” a Blue Origin spokesperson told Gizmodo. Email us today. “Sierra is and will continue to be a part of Orbital Reef’s program,” a spokesperson also told Gizmodo. Sherwood just retires.

meanwhile, Sierra Space announces massive $290 million Series B funding Last week, it announced it would develop its own commercial space station. At the same time, the company is aiming to take off its Dream Chaser space plane. The Dream His Chaser, like ULA’s Vulcan Centaur, is designed to fly in low Earth orbit after boarding a rocket, handling its own atmospheric entry and runway landing. This plane can carry a crew of his three to seven people and up to 12,000 pounds (5,443 kilograms) of cargo, and is capable of transporting LEO aircraft, including the International Space Station (and, for that matter, future commercial space stations). Transport everything to important destinations. The company revealed earlier this summer that Performed Dream Chaser’s first power up.Meanwhile, engineers simulated the power input the spaceplane would generate with its solar array.

NASA announced In 2022, the storied era of the International Space Station will come to an end, with plans to decommission the ISS by 2030. After the crew departs, NASA will begin operations to guide the ISS to its final resting place near the Nemo site in the Pacific Ocean. , the place farthest from land. NASA requested proposals from U.S.-based private space companies in September. Design a spacecraft to support deorbit planning.

As the schedule tightens, remaining space station construction contracts with private companies become increasingly important. NASA advisor previously raised concerns Last summer, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Committee warned that a civilian replacement for the ISS would not be ready by the time it is scheduled to be decommissioned within the next decade. It’s not reassuring to know that NASA’s commercial partners aren’t necessarily on the same page.

This article has been updated with comment from Blue Origin.

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