Gateway Logistics Services

Summary

The Gateway Logistics Services (acronymized as GLS) will be a series of uncrewed spaceflights to the Lunar Gateway space station, with the purpose of providing logistical services to the Gateway. Overseen by NASA's Gateway Logistics Element, the flights will be operated by commercial providers, contracted by the agency in support of crewed expeditions to the Gateway made under the Artemis program. As of March 2020, SpaceX is the only company contracted to provide the services.

Development

The Gateway Logistics Services were modeled after previous ventures by NASA with commercial providers, such as the Commercial Resupply Services to the International Space Station and the Commercial Crew Program.[1][2][3] Through the services, the Gateway will be provided with supplies, scientific instruments, and Human Landing System (HLS) modules.[4] NASA first sought input from the private sector on a procurement framework through a Sources Sought Notice published in October 2018.[5] After a framework was approved by the United States Congress in December 2018, the agency published a draft for its request for proposals for resupply services to the Gateway on June 14, 2019.[6] Shortly following an industry day at the Kennedy Space Center for potential bidders on June 26,[6] the final version of the request was published on August 16.[3][4] Procuring fixed-price contracts worth US$7 billion in total over fifteen years,[7][8][9] the request detailed requirements for American commercial providers to be able to deliver spacecraft capable of carrying at least 3,400 kilograms (7,500 pounds) of pressurized cargo and 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of unpressurized cargo to the Gateway on each flight, and disposing of an equivalent mass at the end of the flight.[10] Spacecraft were also required to be able to last up to a year docked at the Gateway;[11] the draft request originally required durability of three years, though it was reduced to allow for "commercial innovation".[8][11] The request also offered a minimum of two missions to the Gateway for potential bidders.[8][9] Sierra Nevada Space Systems publicized their interest during a November 2019 event celebrating progress on their Dream Chaser Cargo System, with the company's Vice President, Steve Lindsey, noting that spacecraft met the requirements for pressurized and unpressurized cargo mass.[12] In March 2020, NASA announced SpaceX as the first GLS contractor,[13][14][15] with the company simultaneously unveiling the Dragon XL spacecraft to be used in their flights to the Gateway.[14][16] The spacecraft is capable of carrying 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of pressurized and unpressurized cargo in total to the Gateway.[14][15][17]

Missions

The Gateway Logistics Services are managed by the Kennedy Space Center's Gateway Logistics Element,[18] which began operation in late 2019.[19] Each mission procured under the services is expected to last at least six months docked at the Gateway.[11] SpaceX will embark on at least two missions to the Gateway – lasting between six and twelve months each – using its Dragon XL spacecraft,[16][17] delivering scientific instruments and sample collection tools that astronauts will utilize during extravehicular activities on the lunar surface, along with other supplies for both Gateway and HLS crew.[16][17] Dragon XL will be launched to the Gateway via the Falcon Heavy rocket,[13][15][17] with the first two missions expected to launch in 2024 and 2026.[20]

See also

References

Sources

  1. John F. Kennedy Space Center (2019). 2019 Kennedy Space Center Annual Report (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NP-2019-09-2409-KSC. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  2. Foust, Jeff (August 19, 2019). "NASA issues call for proposals for Gateway logistics". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.

Citations

  1. ^ KSC 2019, page 34, "The GLS solicitation [...] builds on the capabilities NASA pioneered in low-Earth orbit with commercial launch services for science and exploration spacecraft, commercial cargo resupply to the International Space Station, and the Commercial Crew Program."
  2. ^ Foust, Jeff (August 30, 2019). "ISS partners endorse modified Gateway plans". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. In addition to the two initial elements, NASA issued a call for proposals Aug. 16 for commercial logistics services for the Gateway, modeled on the commercial cargo program for the ISS.
  3. ^ a b Bienhoff, Dallas (August 19, 2019). "The future of commercial space transportation". The Space Review. Archived from the original on February 2, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. NASA is preparing a Gateway Logistics Services Request for Proposal for delivering supplies to Gateway similar to the successful Commercial Transportation Services contracts for ISS. The final RFP for that effort was released August 16.
  4. ^ a b KSC 2019, page 34, "With the information gathered from industry, the team released the final request for proposals on Aug. 16, 2019, to procure logistics resupply capabilities to and from the Gateway in order to deliver cargo, science experiments and elements of the lunar architecture to deep space."
  5. ^ KSC 2019, page 34, "A Sources Sought Notice was released on Oct. 23, 2018, seeking ideas and information that would aid in crafting the acquisition strategy for supplying Gateway and the Artemis exploration campaign."
  6. ^ a b KSC 2019, page 34, "The Kennedy team received approval to proceed with its procurement strategy on Dec. 17, 2018, released a draft request for proposals on June 14, 2019, and held an industry day for the Gateway Logistics Services (GLS) contract on June 26, 2019."
  7. ^ Foust 2019, "The program will use fixed firm price contracts with milestone payment schedules, like that used for cargo transportation services to and from the International Space Station. The payment schedule included in the RFP anticipates providing 75 percent of the payment of each mission prior to launch."
  8. ^ a b c Patchett, Lucy (August 21, 2019). "NASA aims to build 'deep space supply chain'". Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. Contracts have been given a maximum total value of $7bn for 15-year partnerships, including a minimum of two missions. [...] Mark Wiese, gateway logistics element manager at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said: “We chose to minimise spacecraft requirements on industry to allow for commercial innovation...
  9. ^ a b Gohd, Chelsea (August 20, 2019). "NASA Wants Ideas for Private Cargo Ships to Supply a Lunar Gateway". Space.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2020. A winning proposal would win an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity 15-year contract with a maximum value of $7 billion. The contract would guarantee a minimum of two missions, and might be followed by future contract opportunities.
  10. ^ Foust 2019, "Under the program, companies would deliver at least 3,400 kilograms of pressurized cargo and 1,000 kilograms of unpressurized cargo to the Gateway on each mission. The vehicle would also be required to dispose of at least as much pressurized and unpressurized cargo as it delivers to the Gateway."
  11. ^ a b c Foust 2019, "One change in the requirements for such cargo spacecraft from the draft RFP is mission duration. The draft RFP stated that cargo vehicles should be designed to remain attached to the Gateway for three years, and that the capability for even longer missions "should be considered." The final RFP requires vehicles to be designed for only one-year stays at the Gateway, but with the option for potentially longer missions. "The nominal mission docked duration is expected to be six months," the final RFP notes.
  12. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (November 19, 2019). "Sierra Nevada names Dream Chaser cargo module, updates CRS2 progress". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2020. Per the Gateway, Mr. Lindsey noted that the Shooting Star module – while designed for ISS cargo runs – meets all of the requirements for pressurized and unpressurized volumes that NASA is seeking as part of its commercial lunar services transportation contracts.
  13. ^ a b Wall, Mike (March 27, 2020). "NASA picks SpaceX to fly cargo to moon-orbiting Gateway space station". Space.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. ...SpaceX has scored a contract to supply Gateway, the moon-orbiting space station that the agency aims to start building in 2022, agency officials announced Friday (March 27). [...] But SpaceX's Gateway missions will use different hardware: the huge Falcon Heavy rocket and a special capsule variant called Dragon XL.
  14. ^ a b c Foust, Jeff (March 27, 2020). "SpaceX wins NASA commercial cargo contract for lunar Gateway". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. NASA announced March 27 it has selected SpaceX to provide cargo transportation services for the agency’s planned lunar Gateway. [...] SpaceX described the spacecraft, whose development it had not previously disclosed, as a variant of the company’s existing Dragon spacecraft capable of carrying more than five metric tons of pressurized and unpressurized cargo.
  15. ^ a b c Etherington, Darrell (March 27, 2020). "SpaceX to deliver cargo to NASA's lunar Gateway station using a new 'Dragon XL' spacecraft". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on March 29, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. NASA has tapped SpaceX as the first provider of space-based logistics to deliver experiment materials, cargo and supplies to its lunar Gateway, the agency announced on Friday. [...] and they will be able to carry more than five metric tons to the Moon-orbiting station. They'll use SpaceX's existing Falcon Heavy craft to launch from Earth for the trip.
  16. ^ a b c Bergin, Chris (March 27, 2020). "Dragon XL revealed as NASA ties SpaceX to Lunar Gateway supply contract". NASASpaceFlight.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. ...the GLS contract has revealed a new variant of the spacecraft. Named the Dragon XL [...] its cargo will also include sample collection materials and other items the crew may need on the Gateway and during their expeditions on the lunar surface. [...] the GLS cargo spacecraft will aim to stay at the Gateway for a long duration mission of six to 12 months at a time.
  17. ^ a b c d Grush, Loren (March 27, 2020). "NASA tasks SpaceX with sending cargo and supplies to future lunar space station". The Verge. Archived from the original on March 28, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020. The company is developing a new cargo vehicle called the Dragon XL, a cylindrical white spacecraft that can "carry more than 5 metric tons of cargo to Gateway in lunar orbit," [...] The supersized Dragon will launch on top of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket [...] During each trip, the Dragon XL will stay docked to the Gateway for six to 12 months a time. The capsule will carry things like "sample collection materials and other items the crew may need on the Gateway and during their expeditions on the lunar surface,"...
  18. ^ KSC 2019, page 34, "Kennedy is home to the Gateway Logistics Element (GLE), leading NASA's commercial supply chain for deep space."
  19. ^ KSC 2019, page 34, "The GLE is planning to officially begin operations at Kennedy in late 2019 as a collaborative team working across the spaceport, leveraging all of the specialized skills and expertise Kennedy has to offer."
  20. ^ "Report No. IG-21-004: NASA's Management of the Gateway Program for Artemis Missions" (PDF). OIG. NASA. November 10, 2020. pp. 5–7. Retrieved December 24, 2020. NASA plans to build and add two logistics modules to the Gateway in 2024 and 2026, both of which will launch to the Gateway and are scheduled to remain for 6 to 12 months at a time before being disposed of in space. These modules are for delivery and storage of cargo, science experiments, and supplies, and will be transported by SpaceX under the Gateway Logistics Services contract.

External links

  • Lunar Gateway at NASA