A test article of the lunar lander being developed by Dynetics for NASA’s Artemis program has been completed. The mockup of the Dynetics lander will be used to better understand how the design will accommodate astronauts on the lunar surface.
In a September 15 press release, Dynetics revealed that it had completed a “low-fidelity” test article of the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) at the company’s Huntsville facility in Alabama.
“Our team is pleased to bring this system to life,” said Kim Doering, Dynetics Vice President of Space Systems. “Our reusable, sustainable approach is ready to support a safe and successful hardware delivery for NASA’s mission.”
According to Dynetics, the test article is built to scale and will be used to focus “on crew interfaces” which will enable the company to “test crew activities within the module.” This will allow Dynetics to better understand how the crew will interact with the lander and how best to utilise the space within the lander.
The DHLS was designed in consultation with former NASA astronauts, explained Kristina Hendrix, director of corporate communications at Dynetics. Its low-slung design was developed to “maximise safety and situational awareness for the crew.”
Dynetics was part of three companies to be awarded NASA human landing system (HLS) contracts in April. The two other contracts were awarded to SpaceX and the National Team, a partnership of aerospace titans led by Blue Origin that includes the likes of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Both Dynetics and Blue Origin have completed test articles and passed system requirements and certification baseline reviews. The reviews are among the early milestones that companies need to complete to be eligible for the next phase of contracts. SpaceX has not yet made any public statement regarding their entry five months into the 10-month HLS contract.