Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) is a NASA initiative to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar landers capable of successfully delivering payloads to the lunar surface using U.S. commercial launch capabilities. In September 2014, NASA entered into no-funds-exchanged Space Act Agreement (SAA) partnerships with three competitively-selected companies (Astrobotic Technology, Masten Space Systems, and Moon Express), and is providing in-kind contributions including technical expertise, access to test facilities, software, and the loaning of equipment.
Although NASA is providing in-kind contributions, the landers are owned by the industry partners, and much of the technical design and development information is proprietary. General information about Lunar CATALYST is available on NASA's website (http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst), and additional information may be obtained from the companies themselves: Astrobotic Technology, Masten Space Systems, and Moon Express.
In May 2019, all three of the Lunar CATALYST companies were selected for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to deliver science and technology payloads.More »
Development of commercial capabilities to deliver payloads to the lunar surface may provide a cost-effective means of executing various types of science and exploration missions on the Moon. Missions like NASA's Resource Prospector, which aims to find, excavate, and characterize lunar volatiles such as water, hydrogen, and oxygen, could benefit from these capabilities.
Development of commercial capabilities to deliver payloads to the lunar surface may provide a cost-effective means of executing various types of science and exploration missions on the Moon, including:
The Lunar CATALYST initiative encourages and facilitates development of U.S. commercial robotic lunar cargo delivery capabilities by bringing decades of technical experience (most recently NASA's Mighty Eagle and Morpheus projects) to bear, and provides NASA technical expertise, access to test facilities, software, and the loaning of equipment. Providing these resources has been a critical force-multiplier that is accelerating the progress of commercial robotic lunar lander development.More »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|NASA Headquarters (HQ)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Washington, DC|
|Astrobotic Technology, Inc.||Industry|
|Masten Space Systems, Inc||Industry||Mojave, CA|
|Moon Express, Inc. (FL)||Industry||Cape Canaveral, FL|