Dynetics to develop spacecraft, human landing system for lunar mission
Dynetics, a subsidiary of Reston-based federal contractor Leidos, has started developing a spacecraft called the Autonomous Logistics Platform for All-Moon Cargo Access through a potential $253 million contract with NASA to develop human landing systems for the agency’s lunar mission by 2024, CNBC first reported Wednesday.
NASA selected Dynetics, along with Blue Origin and SpaceX, in April for the program. The spacecraft, equipped with eight rocket engines, will carry up to four astronauts to the lunar surface.
“We’ve chosen eight because it allows us to simplify the engine design somewhat and also gives us the ability to abort in every case all the way down to when we land on the surface,” Andy Crocker, Dynetics HLS deputy program manager, told CNBC.
Dynetics will use United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket to launch the spacecraft as well as two other modular propellant spacecraft that will eventually link in lunar orbit.
“It can be part of a broader lunar economy, that carries things back and forth from lunar orbit,” Crocker told CNBC.
Dynetics will work with Maxar Technologies, Astrobotic, L3Harris Technologies and Sierra Nevada to develop the spacecraft.
Leidos acquired Dynetics for $1.65 billion in February in an all-cash transaction.
Located in Huntsville, Alabama, Dynetics’ work focuses on engineering, information technology, national security, cyberspace, space and critical infrastructures. With annual revenues of $11.09 billion last year and 37,000 employees, Leidos is a Fortune 500 company that specializes in technology and engineering services for federal defense agencies.