The company was one of eleven companies--the only based in Alabama--chosen for the program.
Dynetics was recently selected to study and build five prototypes for an element of a new human lunar lander. NASA's "Artemis" program will include development of a new human landing system to return American astronauts to the Moon's surface by 2024. The company will focus on the lander's descent element.
"We are excited to build onto the great relationship we have with NASA. We believe close collaboration and technical expertise are both critical to rapid execution and we're eager to execute and deliver on time," said Kim Doering, Dynetics vice president of space systems.
The descent element, the portion of the system that provides a safe, precise landing on the Moon, is expected to be included under an industry-led integrated lander contract with NASA. The final effort will develop the individual lander elements, integrate them into the system that meets NASA's requirements and execute a crewed demonstration mission.
"Our team has been tasked to begin designing prototypes of some descent element components and complete several hardware development tasks related to this element. We will conduct propulsion hot fire tests, perform demonstrations of cryogenic fluid management technologies, improve the reliability of our avionics for spaceflight and take critical steps to develop our guidance, navigation, and control system," said Andy Crocker, Dynetics director of space strategy and lunar program manager.
While the current NASA timeline is accelerated, including just six-months for completing our study and prototypes, Crocker said this is familiar to the team.
"The real challenge for Artemis is not just going fast to land with humans by 2024--it's being both fast in the near-term andsustainable in the long-term. We believe we have the recipe to meet that challenge. We've established an agile team of experts that is focused on affordability and lean system integration. We are making smart design decisions that are informed by safety and reliability and schedule; but those decisions are balanced with innovation, expertise, and quality in order to ensure long-term sustainability," he added.