NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS)


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COTS for the Moon, it apprears the balloon has gone up.  Bridenstine didn't waste any time.


Contract value between $25.000 and $2.5 billion (!!)


There are several small lunar landers getting ready to fly, but Blue Origin's Blue Moon lander is said to be good for 4 metric tons of cargo and SpaceX's BFS spaceship will be a  monster.





Solicitation Number: 80HQTR18R0011R
Notice Type: Presolicitation
Added: Apr 27, 2018 3:44 pm

The purpose of this requirement is to acquire end-to-end payload services between the Earth and lunar surface for NASA Headquarters' Science, Human Exploration and Operations and Science Technolgy Mission Directorates.  The contractors shall provide all activities necessary to safely intergrate, accomodate, transport, and operate NASA Payloads using contractor provide assets, including launch vehicles, lunar lander spacecraft, lunar surface systems, Earth re-entry vehicles and associated resources.

Please consult the list of document viewers if you cannot open a file.

Edited by DocM
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Wow, this could be a serious program! I hope the likes of SpaceX/Blue Origin/Bigelow/etc won't get to snowed under by the money hungry old space giants with their 40 years old tin-can tech!

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Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Preproposal Conference/Industry Day




NASA Preproposal Conference for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Acquisition


Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Location: NASA Headquarters, 300 E. Street SW, Washington, DC, US, 20546


Please be informed that it is anticipated the Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP) for CLPS will be posted in late April and available for comment for 30 days.
In addition to the DRFP posting, there will be an Industry Day held at NASA Headquarters, 300 E. Street, Washington, DC 20546 in the Auditorium on May 8, 2018.  The event will be held from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm and access to the auditorium will be available beginning at 8:00 am.  One on one meetings for 15-minute time slots are available for potential offerors to meet the Contracting Officer and technical team.  If your company is interested in participating in the one on one meetings, you can notify Theresa A. Stevens, Contracting Officer at to schedule an appointment time.

CLPS Industry Day Forum

8:30 am - Welcome 
8:45 am - Lunar Payload Services Concept 
9:15 am - Lunar Payload Development 
9:45 am - Lunar Lander Development 
10:15 am - Lunar Strategy wrap up
10:30 am - CLPS DRFP Overview
11:15 am - CLPS Open Q&A 
12:00 pm - Lunch Break
1:00 – 4:00 pm - CLPS one-on-one meetings with industry
All question and answers presented at Industry Day will be posted out on the CLPS E-library.



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RFP date: August 28
Proposals due: September 28
Awards: December 31


NASA wants US providers,




Added: Aug 03, 2018 9:38 am

This Special Notice Synopsis for Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) procurement is to publicize less than full and open competition; and that NASA will be limiting sources pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(3), as implemented by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.302-3(b)(1)(v). NASA has determined that creating or maintaining required domestic capabilities for production of critical space transportation services and vehicles to perform those services by limiting competition to capabilities manufactured in the United States or its outlying areas by domestically-owned and controlled entities is consistent with and necessary to implement United States space policy.

Space policy mandates, when read in concert, require NASA to promote, support, and maintain a domestic industrial base of space transportation capabilities to the lunar surface. In order to fulfill these mandates, CLPS space transportation service provider prime contractors, as well as all firms that construct, produce, manufacture or otherwise provide space transportation vehicles for the purpose of the prime contractor's performance of CLPS must qualify as domestically owned and controlled as defined by the CLPS solicitation. Additionally, all CLPS space transportation service provider prime contractors shall provide a CLPS that utilizes domestic end products for all space transportation vehicles required for performance of this contract, inclusive of any launch vehicle and any other space transportation vehicle used to deliver payloads to the lunar surface. The cost of each component includes transportation costs to the place of incorporation into the CLPS and any applicable duty (whether or not a duty - free entry certificate is issued).

NASA's intent is to limit sources for the CLPS procurement for the purposes of industrial mobilization. NASA is not requesting that any capabilities or information be submitted by Industry. Market research has been conducted and completed. However, comments from Industry on less than full and open competition must be submitted within 15 days of this posting and NLT August 18, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.




Advanced Space
AeroJet Rocketdyne
Blue Origin
Bryce Space Technology 
Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories
Lockheed Martin
Lunar Experiences
Lunar Express 
Masten Space Systems
MEI Technologies
Miller Engineering & Research
Moon Express

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly OrbitalATK)
Sierra Nevada Corporation
Spaceflight Industries
Special Aerospace Services
Space Systems Loral/Maxar
Team Indus
VALT Enterprises


Edited by DocM
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NASA issues call for payloads to go on commercial lunar landers


WASHINGTON -- As NASA evaluates proposals for commercially developed small lunar landers, the agency is now seeking payloads that could fly on those spacecraft despite concerns from some scientists that they don’t know if their experiments are compatible with those landers.

NASA released Oct. 18 a formal solicitation for "Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads" that seeks experiments for flight on lander missions procured by the agency's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. NASA plans to select 8 to 12 experiments next year for launch no earlier than 2020, with an overall budget of between $24 and 36 million in the first year of the program.


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And the commercial lunar race balloon goes up....


Timeline (note the human landers ~2024)






NASA to pay private space companies for moon rides


Next month, almost a half-century since the United States last landed a spacecraft on the moon, NASA is expected to announce plans for a return. But the agency will just be along for the ride. Rather than unveiling plans for its own spacecraft, NASA will name the private companies it will pay to carry science experiments to the moon on small robotic landers.


Under a program called Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), NASA would buy space aboard a couple of launches a year, starting in 2021. The effort is similar to an agency program that paid private space companies such as Elon Musk's SpaceX to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). "This a new way of doing business," says Sarah Noble, a planetary scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., who is leading the science side of NASA's lunar plans.


Scientists are lining up for a ride. "It really feels like the future of lunar exploration," says Erica Jawin, a planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. She and other attendees at the annual meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group in Columbia, Maryland, last week were eager to show NASA why their small experiments would be worthy hitchhikers on the landers.



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The Gateway and lunar landing program has gone international under the name "Artemis"


While NASA and SpaceX work on propellant transfer for refuelling Starship from tankers in space,



Blue Origin, Lockheed, Northrop join forces for Artemis lunar lander


WASHINGTON -- Blue Origin is joining forces with three other major aerospace firms in a "national team" to develop a human lunar lander for NASA.

The company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, announced Oct. 22 his intent to work with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper on the unnamed lunar lander, the proposal for which they will submit to NASA for its Human Landing Services competition.
Under the teaming arrangement, Blue Origin will serve as the prime contractor and provide a descent stage developed for its Blue Moon lunar lander unveiled earlier this year. Lockheed Martin will build a crew-rated ascent stage, leveraging systems it developed for the Orion spacecraft. Northrop Grumman will build a transfer stage to move the lander from the lunar Gateway to low lunar orbit, based on its Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Draper will provide guidance systems and avionics for the lander.


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New NASA CLPS program commercial lunar landers, and look who's coming to dinner!!



New Companies Join Growing Ranks of NASA Partners for Artemis Program

NASA has added five American companies to the pool of vendors that will be eligible to bid on proposals to provide deliveries to the surface of the Moon through the agencys Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

The additions, which increase the list of CLPS participants on contract to 14, expand NASAs work with U.S. industry to build a strong marketplace to deliver payloads between Earth and the Moon and broaden the network of partnerships that will enable the first woman and next man to set foot on the Moon by 2024 as part of the agencys Artemis program.

American aerospace companies of all sizes are joining the Artemis program, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Expanding the group of companies who are eligible to bid on sending payloads to the Moons surface drives innovation and reduces costs to NASA and American taxpayers. We anticipate opportunities to deliver a wide range of science and technology payloads to help make our vision for lunar exploration a reality and advance our goal of sending humans to explore Mars.

The selected companies are:

* Blue Origin, Kent, Washington



* Ceres Robotics, Palo Alto, California



* Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, Colorado



* Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc., Irvine, California



* SpaceX, Hawthorne, California



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NASA Artemis crewed lunar lander selections,


SpaceX Starship lunar crew variant




"National Team" (Blue Origin, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Gumman, Draper Labs)


Boeing gets shut out




SpaceX thread



Lunar Starship gets high-mounted landing thrusters. There goes the flying regolith problem.





"National Team"



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NASA Admin Jim Bridenstine about SpaceX & Starship,


"SpaceX is really good at flying and testing—and failing and fixing," he [Jim Bridenstine] said. "People are going to look at this and say, 'My goodness, we just saw Starship blow up again. Why are you giving them a contract?' The answer is because SpaceX is really good at iteratively testing and fixing. This is not new to them. They have a design here that, if successful, is going to be transformational. It’s going to drive down costs and it’s going to increase access, and it’s going to enable commercial activities that historically we’ve only dreamed about. I fully believe that Elon Musk is going to be successful. He is focused like a laser on these activities."


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Boeing has caIled out its bought & paid for Democrats in the House.  Imagine that 🙄


Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology


Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), Chair of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics



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The Blue Origin-led  "America's Team" lunar lander mockup.


With SpaceX's Starship doing test hops, leading to high altitude flights later this year, this could get interesting...







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Italy joins the NAAA Artemis Moon program


Google Translated...



There is an agreement with NASA, Italy on a mission to the Moon


Agreement signed: Rome will invest over 1 billion euros. The project of building the first colony on the satellite

The Moon is also getting closer to Italy. An agreement of intent signed yesterday live in Rome and Washington leads to the goal of returning to our natural satellite, namely the construction of the first lunar colony. Thus specifies the document signed by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and Riccardo Fraccaro, undersecretary of the Prime Minister with responsibility for aerospace policies. Our national scientists and industries will be involved in three directions. The first concerns collaboration in the construction of the house-laboratory in which the astronauts will live and in the development of technologies to ensure the carrying out of the missions. The second commitment concerns the research that can be carried out at the base involving scientists from various disciplines, from biology to astronomy. All exploration and research activities will require a sophisticated communication network capable of allowing a constant connection with the Earth by transferring large amounts of data.

Artemis program

All this is part of the Artemis Programthat NASA has started to return to the moon with a woman and a man in 2024. But it will only be the first step to arrive at a stable settlement 4 years later. Meanwhile, the lunar space station Gateway will also be built to facilitate operations in which Japan, Canada, Europe and (soon) Russia already participate. All this will bring work to our industries which will carry out the various parts by developing innovations capable of guaranteeing the survival of the astronauts - explains Fraccaro -. The government expects an investment of over 1 billion, setting in motion an economic return that will go well beyond. The aim is to involve, in addition to the large companies already involved in the sector, other medium-small companies that until now have never thought of working for space but given their skills they can find ways of development on the lunar border.

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Ouch! The edged editorial weapons are coming out...


(Context: NASA Human Lander Services mockups are arriving. Blue Origin's "America's Team" with Lockheed & others used silvered balloons for fuel tanks, what looked like particle or fiber board & scaffolds for the cabin, etc.. 


SpaceX, as shown one post up, is cutting metal and has a full size crew cabin or mission hardware module on display (it ain't little)





America's Team mockup



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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, bguy_1986 said:

Dragon XL?  That's surprising.  Nasa still unsure about starship?


Dragon XL was bid by SoaceX for Gateway cargo, launching on Falcon Heavy. Big beast it is, but still based on Dragon 2.  It won, and as of now is the only logistics vehicle selected to resupply Gateway.


There's been a lot of talk that if Starship makes orbit this year Dragon XL's contract  could be transferred to Starship. It'd be interetesting because Starship is much larger than Gateway.

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