Space agency NASA has selected five companies to design a ten-meter-high pole with solar panels that can be set up independently. The companies are given a year and USD 700,000 to come up with a design.
The five companies were chosen on the basis of their submission. With the money and time they get now, they have to work out their design, after which NASA will narrow the selection. The assignment is to make a ten-meter-high mast that can be erected autonomously and can also be moved. The masts must be able to stand stably on a steep surface, be resistant to moon dust, and be as small and light as possible.
Astrobotic Technology, Northrop Grumman’s ATK Space Systems, Honeybee Robotics, Lockheed Martin and Maxar Technologies Space System Loral are the selected companies. After twelve months they have to show a design and NASA then chooses a maximum of two parties to continue with, each of which will then receive up to $ 7.5 million for the construction of prototypes and the execution of tests.
The American space agency wants to use solar panels to power a future moon base. The lunar base should be ready by the end of this decade and is part of the Artemis mission, with which NASA is once again sending astronauts to the moon.
In 2024, the first woman and man with that mission should be on the lunar surface. The first mission will last seven days. Once the Artemis Base Camp has been completed, it should allow for missions with a stay of up to two months.