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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[update], SpaceX is the only company contracted to provide the services.
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. Through the services, the Gateway will be provided with supplies, scientific instruments, and Human Landing System (HLS) modules. NASA first sought input from the private sector on a procurement framework through a Sources Sought Notice published in October 2018. 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. Shortly following an industry day at the Kennedy Space Center for potential bidders on June 26, the final version of the request was published on August 16. Procuring fixed-price contracts worth US$7 billion in total over fifteen years, 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. Spacecraft were also required to be able to last up to a year docked at the Gateway; the draft request originally required durability of three years, though it was reduced to allow for "commercial innovation". The request also offered a minimum of two missions to the Gateway for potential bidders. 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. In March 2020, NASA announced SpaceX as the first GLS contractor, with the company simultaneously unveiling the Dragon XL spacecraft to be used in their flights to the Gateway. The spacecraft is capable of carrying 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of pressurized and unpressurized cargo in total to the Gateway.
The Gateway Logistics Services are managed by the Kennedy Space Center's Gateway Logistics Element, which began operation in late 2019. Each mission procured under the services is expected to last at least six months docked at the Gateway. SpaceX will embark on at least two missions to the Gateway – lasting between six and twelve months each – using its Dragon XL spacecraft, 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. Dragon XL will be launched to the Gateway via the Falcon Heavy rocket, with the first two missions expected to launch in 2024 and 2026.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
...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.
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.
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.
...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.
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,"...
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.