January 07, 2013
Northrop Grumman Tapped for Golden Spike Lunar Lander Design Alternatives
By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
The Golden Spike Company has signed a contract with aerospace giant Northrop Grumman (News - Alert) Corporate for the design of a new lunar lander to fit in with Golden Spike's commercial architecture for manned lunar exploration. It's an interesting choice with financial terms of the agreement not disclosed.
Northrop Grumman's heritage includes the two companies involved with designing and building the Apollo Lunar Module and its descent engines between 1969 and 1972, Grumman and TRW. A total of six successful landings took place during Apollo, putting two astronauts on the lunar surface and returning them back into lunar orbit.
Golden Spike, launched last month, is the first commercial aerospace company planning to offer routine exploration missions to the surface of the moon by the end of the decade. Most of the hardware the company plans to use already exists, with a lunar lander and surface "moon suits" being the only pieces of hardware that have to be sourced essentially from scratch... Read More