REDONDO BEACH, Calif., May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has completed a feasibility study for a new commercial lunar lander for the Golden Spike Company (GSC). The study confirmed the viability of lander concepts for Golden Spike's human lunar expedition architecture and conceived a novel new, low-mass ascent stage concept dubbed "Pumpkin."
A photo accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/noc/.Northrop Grumman's study for Golden Spike conducted the following tasks:
- Reviewed GSC's level one requirements and synthesized a set of study ground rules and assumptions emphasizing automated operations, simplicity and low cost.
- Established propulsion requirements for lunar orbit loiter, descent to the lunar surface, ascent to low lunar orbit and rendezvous with a crew vehicle for pragmatic lunar landing sites.
- Developed current and stretch factors to reflect the improvement in relevant technologies since the completion of the Apollo program.
- Evaluated 180 lunar lander cases for various options and sensitivities including loiter, staging, propellants, engines, surface duration, surface cargo and technology basis.
- Established a pragmatic design trade space for future more detailed analysis and development.