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Satnews Daily
May 1st, 2020

Thales Alenia Space Joins Companies Assisting Dynetics in Building NASA's Human Landing System

Dynetics in designing and building a lunar human landing system for NASA. Image is courtesy of Dynetics.

Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has been selected by Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, serving as prime contractor, to partner for the study development phase of the pressurized cabin of the NASA Human Landing System (HLS).

The international consortium led by Dynetics is one among other teams appointed by NASA to compete during the initial design and development phase of the Human Landing System until the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) milestone. The Human Landing System is part of NASA’s Artemis program, representing a key capability of its Moon return strategy.

The man-rated landing vehicle will enable astronauts to reach the lunar surface, live and operate on the ground for a maximum of one week and then ascend back to the Moon’s orbit. Thales Alenia Space will be in charge of the design of the main volume of the crew module, including the primary structure, hatch and Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA) door, windows and thermal and micrometeoroid protection, together with the primary production of the basic tools.

The design of the pressurized cabin structure will progress at a much faster rate than the other components of the system, despite the technical challenges the team faces. This component plays a key role in the entire lander’s development, as it will host and protect astronauts from the Moon’s atmosphere and asperities.

The goal is to reach the Critical Design Review (CDR) by the end of the year, when NASA will down-select the best technical solution and authorize to proceed with the immediate manufacturing of the first two flight units serving the 2024 and 2026 missions.

Massimo Comparini, CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia and Senior Executive VP Observation, Exploration and Navigation at Thales Alenia Space, said the firm is honored and proud to partner with Dynetics in the next exciting milestone to enable humanity to reconnect with the Moon. Spreading the dream of generations to some others, this mission is among the most challenging ever implemented. The NASA requirements and timeline require the highest industrial capabilities and experience and Thales Alenia Space has the privilege to partake in this new adventure. Thales Alenia Space, embracing Italian Space Agency (ASI) and main Space Agencies’ ambitions, has pioneered space exploration and will put in place more than 40 years of experience in the field to sustain and safely accompany the first woman and the next man to touch the Moon’s dusty ground.

Thales Alenia Space is aligned with the US-Italian space agencies’ agreement, signed on October 23, 2019, by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Giorgio Saccoccia, head of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), to bridge the common intent to extent the fruitful and long-lasting collaboration between the two agencies.