Mojave’s Masten Space Systems Selected for NASA CLPS Lunar Program

Lunar lander (Credit: Masten Space Systems)

MOJAVE, CA, November 29 , 2018 (Masten Space Systems PR) – Masten Space Systems has been awarded NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) IDIQ contract vehicle to deliver payloads to the lunar service. CLPS is a multi-award contract worth $2.6B over the duration of its 10 year performance period. The contract funds launch, landing, and lunar surface systems with first missions targeted as early as 2021.

“We are eager to apply our capability-driven approach refined over the last decade as we go to the lunar surface,” said Sean Mahoney, CEO of Masten Space Systems. “We are eager to work with NASA to enable new business models that will unlock the potential of the cislunar economy and enable humans to return to the moon.”

Masten’s XL-1 robotic lander concept has been developed in partnership with NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) program over the last five years. XL-1 is a spacecraft featuring two payload bays and has the capability to deliver 100kg of payload mass to the lunar surface. XL-1 will be put on a translunar injection by a larger launch vehicle and once in lunar orbit will fire its four main engines to autonomously descend into a soft touchdown at a predetermined location on the lunar surface.

Since its 2009 win of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XChallenge, funded by NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, Masten has been developing and iterating space transportation systems. Masten has engineered and flown 5 rocket powered landers collectively completing over 600 vertical landings. Those flights have demonstrated numerous precision landing and hazard avoidance hardware and software technologies in partnership with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and multiple commercial companies.

Today, the Masten and NASA team collaborating under the CATALYST program is integrating and nearing testing of XL-1T, a terrestrial demonstrator which serves as a precursor to Masten’s XL-1 lunar lander. With detailed design of XL-1 already underway, Masten expects have a developed landing capability by 2021 and anticipates being among the first on the lunar surface.

The work pursued through CATALYST has been imperative for maturing key technologies of Masten’s lunar lander, XL-1. Since 2014, Masten and NASA have been working together on designing, building, and testing subsystem components for XL-1. In 2019, Masten will be testing the hardware and software developed under CATALYST on our newest reusable flight vehicle, XL-1T, which will act as a terrestrial testbed for our lunar lander.

“We’re excited to be selected under the CLPS program and we are ready to build a lunar lander,” said Dave Masten, CTO and founder of Masten Space Systems. “It’s time to go back to stay.”

About Masten Space Systems

Masten Space Systems is a private company founded in 2004 by CTO David Masten. The company develops innovative rocket technologies and is driven by the goal of lowering the barriers to space access. Masten Space Systems is based in Mojave, CA.

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