Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

NASA Taps Northrop Grumman to Build Lunar Gateway Hab Module

By Rich Smith – Jun 8, 2020 at 1:27PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Northrop was always going to win this one, and now we know how much it won for phase one.

In August, NASA announced that blue chip aerospace giant Northrop Grumman (NOC -0.03%) would be the only company allowed to compete for a sole-source contract to build a "minimal habitation module" to accommodate astronauts serving aboard its planned Lunar Gateway space station orbiting the moon. At the time, NASA had not technically awarded the contract to Northrop, but with no one else allowed to bid, the contract appeared to be Northrop's by default. And now it is. The contract win was announced last week.   

NASA artist's depiction of HALO Lunar Gateway in orbit around the moon.

Image source: NASA.

NASA describes the habitation and logistics outpost (HALO) as "the pressurized living quarters where astronauts will spend their time while visiting the Gateway." Derived from the Cygnus cargo capsule that Northrop already builds for supply runs to the International Space Station, the HALO is described as "about the size of a small studio apartment," and is designed to be used in tandem with the Orion spacecraft that carries astronauts to the Gateway.

On Friday, NASA confirmed that it had awarded the HALO contract to Northrop. For an initial $187 million, Northrop will "design the habitation and logistics outpost (HALO) for the Gateway." Subsequently, and presumably for much more money, Northrop Grumman will actually build the HALO.

Preliminary design work (the first contract) is expected to wrap up before the end of this year. Construction of the HALO, and its integration with the Gateway's power and propulsion element (PPE) that Maxar Technologies is building, should happen by the end of 2023. Then the unified spacecraft would be launched to the moon that same year.

NASA has not yet chosen a contractor to conduct the launch, but that decision should also be reached before the end of this year.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Northrop Grumman Corporation Stock Quote
Northrop Grumman Corporation
NOC
$470.32 (-0.03%) $0.16

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
326%
 
S&P 500 Returns
102%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/02/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.