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Northrop Grumman completes Preliminary Design Review for NASA’s Gateway Crew Module

(18 November 2020 - Northrop Grumman) Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed its initial preliminary design review (PDR) event for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO).

The module will serve as living quarters for astronauts at the Gateway during lunar exploration missions.

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Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. (courtesy: Northrop Grumman)

The design for HALO is based on Northrop Grumman’s flight-proven Cygnus spacecraft, a human-capable vehicle that delivers supplies, equipment and experiments to the International Space Station. Design upgrades for HALO include command and control systems, as well as environmental control and life support systems.

“By basing the HALO module on Cygnus, we are able to deliver an affordable and reliable flight-proven product on an accelerated timeline,” said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial satellites, Northrop Grumman. “Maturing HALO through its preliminary design marks a major milestone in the module’s production.”

The HALO module is key to NASA’s Lunar Gateway, serving both as a crew habitat and docking hub for vehicles navigating between Earth and the moon. With NASA’s Orion spacecraft docked, HALO will be able to sustain up to four astronauts for up to 30 days as they travel to and from the lunar surface.

Northrop Grumman’s work on HALO is a follow-on to the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships 2 (NextSTEP-2) program, where the company used virtual reality and 3-D printed models to support rapid prototyping of the NextSTEP-2 habitat modules.

In addition to HALO, Northrop Grumman is partnering on the Blue Origin-led human landing system team to develop the Human Landing System (HLS) for the Artemis program. Northrop Grumman will provide the Transfer Element vehicle that lowers the landing system into low lunar orbit. The company is also responsible for delivering boosters for the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion Ascent Abort System.

From the first lunar lander to the space shuttle boosters, to supplying the International Space Station with vital cargo, Northrop Grumman has pioneered new products and ideas that have been put into orbit, on the moon, and in deep space for more than 50 years. As a part of NASA’s Artemis program, we are building on our mission heritage with new innovations to enable NASA to return humans to the moon, with the ultimate goal of human exploration of Mars.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.