CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Draper has successfully completed the first two key milestones for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) CP-12 task order: the mission architecture and requirements review and the payload interface preliminary design review (PDR).
Draper and its partners are working to deliver a suite of three NASA-sponsored science payloads to the Moon, as well as two communication and data relay satellites for lunar orbit, in 2025.
The Draper-led team includes General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems; ispace US; and Systima, a division of Karman Space & Defense. Team Draper is scheduled to deliver the payloads in fulfillment of CLPS task order CP-12, managed by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
The mission architecture and requirements review is the first milestone. Completion demonstrates that NASA concurs with Draper’s plan for meeting mission and payload requirements for CP-12, and the scope of work is consistent with resource allocation.
The payload interface PDR is the second program “payment milestone,” marking successful baselining of the team’s technical approach for the payload delivery service. Completion of this critical milestone demonstrates that the preliminary design for the payload-to-lander interface meets all requirements and establishes the basis for proceeding with detailed design.
“Our CP-12 effort is on track as we work diligently to establish payload delivery to the lunar surface and prepare for future, more complex lunar surface operations,” said Pete Paceley, acting vice president of Space Systems, Draper. The lander is planned to carry several commercial payloads in addition to the three from NASA.
In July 2022, NASA awarded Draper a $73 million contract to deliver Artemis science investigations to the Moon. Draper is responsible for end-to-end delivery services, including payload integration, delivery from Earth to the surface of the Moon and payload operations.
The experiments riding on Team Draper’s SERIES-2 lander are headed to Schrödinger Basin, a large lunar impact crater on the far side of the Moon, close to the lunar South Pole—a first for NASA. Scientists hope to study the thermal and geophysical properties of the lunar interior as well as electric and magnetic properties in a landing location shielded from Earth’s electromagnetic fields.
NASA says the goal of the CLPS project is to enable rapid, frequent and affordable access to the lunar surface by helping to establish a viable commercial lunar landing services sector. CP-12 will make possible the kind of geophysical observations from the surface of the Moon that have consistently remained a high priority among the lunar community.