MDA Space Part of Team Awarded NASA Lunar Terrain Vehicle Contract (Updated)

Illustration of the lunar terrain vehicle from the Lockheed Martin lead Lunar Dawn Team. Image credit: Lockheed Martin.

NASA selected three companies for the next phase of the Lunar Terrain Vehicle program for the Artemis program. The Lunar Dawn Team includes MDA.

NASA selected Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab. Each organization will work for the next year on a “feasibility phase” to mature their designs.

In a press release, NASA said “the awards leverage NASA’s expertise in developing and operating rovers to build commercial capabilities that support scientific discovery and long-term human exploration on the Moon. NASA intends to begin using the LTV (Lunar Terrain Vehicle) for crewed operations during Artemis V.”

NASA added, “each provider will begin with a feasibility task order, which will be a year-long special study to develop a system that meets NASA’s requirements through the preliminary design maturity project phase. The agency will issue a subsequent request for task order proposal to eligible provider(s) for a demonstration mission to continue developing the LTV, deliver it to the surface of the Moon, and validate its performance and safety ahead of Artemis V. “

Lunar Outpost, a graduate of the Creation Destruction Lab 2021/22 cohort and the prime contractor, along with principal partner Lockheed Martin and team members General Motors, Goodyear and MDA Space are the Lunar Dawn Team and have a website for the project here

It was two years ago at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs that MDA Space announced it would be providing “robotic arm technology” to the Lunar Mobility Vehicle as it was known then.

NASA will select one organization for the final contract which would serve their needs through 2039. NASA “will acquire the LTV as a service from industry. The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, milestone-based Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services contract with firm-fixed-price task orders has a combined maximum potential value of $4.6 billion for all awards.”

In their press release, Lockheed Martin Lunar Outpost CEO, Justin Cyrus said, “Surface mobility is a critical capability for humanity’s future in space, and Lunar Outpost looks forward to driving value in the cislunar economy by providing a reliable, safe and capable vehicle that will be used to provide mobility to Artemis astronauts and perform critical missions autonomously on the Moon for commercial endeavors. We look forward to leveraging the strengths of Lockheed Martin, a company with extensive human and advanced space systems experience, and our other industry teammates, GM, Goodyear and MDA Space, to provide an unparalleled technical offering at a commercially viable price point.”

Update: We corrected our story to clarify that Lockheed Martin is the principal partner of the Lunar Dawn Team that includes other team members such as MDA Space. The company that was awarded the contract is Lunar Outpost, also a team member and the prime contractor.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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