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Northrop Grumman receives contract from NASA for Gateway Module

WASHINGTON: On June 5, NASA pronounced that it gave the contract to Northrop Grumman. The agreement will aid Northrop Grumman to commence on the making of a habitation module meant for Lunar Gateway. It came almost a year when the organization stated that it had the urge to soul-source the blade to the firm. 

NASA stated that it granted a loan worth $187 million for the Habitation as well as Logistics Outpost module (HALO). The module will act as the first destination for crews who will be paying a visit to the moon Gateway. According to the description made by NASA, the blade appears like the size of small studio building, and it will manage to provide little accommodation for the crew arriving on the Orion spaceship. 

However, the contract doesn’t cover all the work needed for HALO, but instead, the loan will provide funds for the designing of the module that will undergo review sometimes later this year. The contracts will also Northrop Grumman to offer some small deals for hardware with the long lead periods. Later on, a contract modification will come to provide full funds to the making and testing of the HALO. 

Surprisingly, NASA took more time just to award the contract to Northrop Grumman. Last year (2019) July, during a procurement filing, NASA had stated to issue out its sole-source to Northrop Grumman. The statement came after the conclusions of NASA revealing that the firm will have a ready module, and that is why NASA announced to fund the plans of Northrop Grumman to take human beings to the lunar in the coming four years.

Orbital ATK was one of the six firms later owned by Northrop Grumman, which received the awards of NASA. Later on, the awards aided in a 2016 program for studying modules of destinations; Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (Next STEP), formerly known as Next STEP Appendix A. NASA used it to pick out contractors for HALO. 

However, Northrop will be able to make notable adjustments to the outlook of the Cygnus spaceship for HALO. Some of the changes include: fixing several docking ports to allow accommodation of Orion spaceship and other Gateway features. Also, it will consist of new command as well as control systems, and lastly, a life-supporting device to aid the visiting staff members.

First of all, it had planned to liftoff on the commercial rocket as well as use a module of propulsion to arrive at the lunar orbit. While here, the satellite will attach autonomously with the initial Gateway module, Power and Propulsion structure (PPE).