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NASA Ames Collaborates to Develop Robotic Lunar Lander
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Nov 03, 2008
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NASA Ames Research Center is collaborating with a commercial partner to develop a lunar lander for future low-cost missions to the moon.

Under the terms of a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement with Odyssey Moon Ventures LLC, Henderson, Nev., NASA Ames will share its small spacecraft technical data and expertise with the company. In return, Odyssey Moon Ventures will reimburse NASA Ames for the cost of providing the technical support and will share its technical data from its engineering tests and actual lunar missions with NASA.

“NASA is a big supporter of developing the commercial space sector, and is interested in developing small spacecraft for future lunar exploration,” said NASA Ames Research Center Director S. Pete Worden. By making these designs available to commercial enterprises, we hope to spark rapid development of low-cost, small spacecraft missions.”

As part of the agreement, NASA will share data from a small spacecraft system under development at NASA Ames called the Common Spacecraft Bus, which uses a modular design adaptable to a variety of mission configurations as either an orbiter or a lunar lander. NASA also will share data from the Hover Test Vehicle, an engineering prototype of the Common Spacecraft Bus developed at Ames to evaluate hardware and software systems.

Odyssey Moon Ventures LLC is a U.S. company focused on the development of commercial systems for lunar exploration. The company is headed by Jay Honeycutt, a veteran space executive with more than 40 years of experience, including serving as director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and president of Lockheed Martin Space Operations.

In addition to the work associated with this collaboration, Odyssey Moon Ventures will be responsible for the U.S. launch operations and ground processing of spacecraft that will be used in future commercial flights to the moon. Odyssey Moon Ventures LLC is headquartered in Nevada, with offices in Washington DC and Cocoa Beach, Fla. The firm collaborates with Odyssey Moon Limited, a company headquartered in the Isle of Man, with offices in Toronto, Canada, London, and Washington DC.

For images related to the flight test of the Hover Test Vehicle, visit:

For more information about Odyssey Moon Ventures, visit

For more information about NASA, visit

Michael Mewhinney
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
P:  650-604-3937/207-1323

Susan Schonfeld
Odyssey Moon Ventures
P:  845-721-9456

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