Contracts for the Human Landing System (HLS) have gone to Blue Origin, Dynetics (Leidos), and SpaceX. The HLS team includes Draper, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. Draper will provide avionics, guidance, navigation, and software. The Integrated Lander Vehicle will launch on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan heavy-lift rocket. Maxar Technologies will develop the PPE. HALO is an initial crew cabin for astronauts visiting the Gateway and will likely be built by Northrop. Pressurized and unpressurized cargo, including space instruments and food, will be delivered by SpaceX.
The recent NASA-DOD memorandum of understanding references the proposed lunar base and says that NASA and the Space Force “reaffirm and continue their rich legacy of collaboration in space launch, in-space operations, and space research activities, all of which contribute to the Parties’ separate and distinct civil and defense endeavors”—the latter are classified. The Space Force will act as the NASA’s guarantor. Space Force’s responsibilities “include developing military space systems and doctrine, as well as presenting space forces to support the warfighting Combatant Commands.” The memo reiterates common NASA-DOD interests.
The memo also seeks to establish a Foundation for Broad Collaboration. General Raymond says:
“A secure, stable, and accessible space domain underpins our nation’s security, prosperity and scientific achievement. Space Force looks forward to future collaboration, as NASA pushes farther into the universe for the benefit of all.”
The Space Force states that it “will secure the peaceful use of space, free for any who seek to expand their understanding of the universe, by organizing, training and equipping forces to protect U.S. and allied interests in space.” “Peace” means U.S. dominance unimpeded by commercial rivals, like China, India, and Russia.