Northrop Grumman signs agreement with NASA to design space station for low Earth orbit

Dec. 6, 2021

DULLES, Va.- Northrop Grumman Corporation signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA under the Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development program for $125.6 million to design a safe, reliable and cost-effective commercial free-flying space station in low Earth orbit (LEO). Northrop Grumman’s commercial space station design will use current flight systems and advanced crew-focused technology under development that allows for rapid deployment with modular expansion to meet the growing needs of the space economy.

This Space Act Agreement will enable Northrop Grumman to provide a detailed commercialization, operations and capabilities plan as well as space station requirements, mission success criteria, risk assessments, key technical and market analysis requirements, and preliminary design activities.

To support this effort, Northrop Grumman is building a team with unique capabilities and expertise, which includes Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, with other partners to be announced in the coming months.

Building on Northrop Grumman’s commercial spacecraft experience with the Cygnus spacecraft and the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) as well as the in-production Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), Northrop Grumman’s design utilizes an overlapping stage approach that minimizes initial costs, provides revenue to offset subsequent development, and allows later capabilities to be added according to market needs.

The station will have the ability to support four permanent crewmembers initially, with plans to expand to an eight-person crew and further capability beyond that. The station is designed for a permanent presence of 15 years.

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