Friday, August 1, 2008

NASA selects lunar concepts projects

NASA selects lunar concepts projects
NASA's Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley speaks during news conference announcing Boeing as the contractor for the upper stage element of the Ares I rocket at NASA headquarters in Washington on August 28, 2007. The rocket will carry astronauts to the International Space Station and the Moon. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)

The U.S. space agency said it has selected 11 companies and one university to develop concepts as to how astronauts will live and work on the moon.

Each organization will conduct a 180-day study focused on a topic relevant to lunar surface systems.

The selected organizations and their projects are:

-- Alternative Packaging Options: Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston.

-- Avionics: Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) of Glendale, Ariz.

-- Energy Storage: ATK Space Systems Group of Brigham City, Utah; Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio; and Hamilton Sundstrand of Canoga Park, Calif.

-- Minimum Habitation Functions: The Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) of Huntington Beach, Calif.; ILC Dover of Frederica, Del.; and the University of Maryland.

-- Regolith Moving Methods: Astrobotic Technology Inc. of Pittsburgh and Honeybee Robotics of New York.

-- Software: The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., and United Space Alliance of Houston.

The awards total approximately $2 million, with a maximum individual award of $250,000.

"These studies provide new ideas to help the Constellation Program develop innovative, reliable requirements for the systems that will be used when outposts are established on the moon," said Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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