NASA Awards Contract for Altair Lunar Lander Engine Development


CLEVELAND — NASA has awarded a nearly $7 million contract to Aerojet-General Corporation of Sacramento, Calif., to design, develop, fabricate, test and evaluate a new rocket engine as part of the space agency’s efforts to land humans on the moon.

The objective of this work is to sufficiently increase the maturity of this technology to establish the feasibility of using a liquid oxygen and liquid methane main engine for the ascent stage of the Altair lunar lander. After visiting the lunar outpost, the crew will lift off from the surface of the moon in Altair’s ascent stage and rendezvous with the Orion crew vehicle in lunar orbit for the return trip to Earth.

Aerojet will work for 21 months to complete an evaluation of the rocket engine assembly, a 5,500 pound constant-thrust, pressure-fed rocket engine. The contract’s period of performance began on April 8.

This cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is valued at approximately $6.9 million. The Exploration Technology Development Program at NASA’s Headquarters in Washington is providing the funding.