Northrop Grumman awarded first crew module contract
The HALO module design is adapted from the Cygnus spacecraft designed by Northrop Grumman, and will serve as both crew habitat and docking hub for cislunar spacecraft.
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Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. Source | Northrop Grumman
The HALO design is derived from Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, a human-capable vehicle that delivers supplies, spare equipment and scientific experiments to the International Space Station (ISS), with 13 successful missions to date. The module represents an important component of the Lunar Gateway, serving as a crew habitat and docking hub for cislunar spacecraft. HALO will feature three docking ports for visiting spacecraft, including the Orion spacecraft and other lunar support vehicles.
Building off of Cygnus’ pressurized cargo module, Northrop Grumman reports adding command and control capabilities, including environmental control and life support systems to HALO. Coupled with NASA’s Orion spacecraft capabilities, the company says, the systems can sustain up to four astronauts for up to 30 days as they embark on, and return from, expeditions to the lunar surface. By leveraging the active Cygnus production line, Northrop Grumman believes it has the capability of providing an affordable and reliable HALO module in time to support NASA’s Artemis program.
“The success of our Cygnus spacecraft and its active production line helps to enable Northrop Grumman to deliver the HALO module,” says Steve Krein, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of civil and commercial satellites. “HALO is an essential element in NASA’s long-term exploration of deep-space.”
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