Leidos Dynetics

Company - Leidos Dynetics

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Leidos Dynetics

Product/Service - Dynetics Human Landing System

Surface Spacecraft
Commercial Rover
First launch
Not announced

Unveiled a prototype rover at the 2023 Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Developed with Dynetics and promoted in partnership with U.S. motor racing organization Nascar, the vehicle may outwardly resemble the rovers of the Apollo era but differs substantially in detail and technology. For one, it is powered by a combination of solar and battery systems.

NASA is widely expected to issue its LTV request for proposals in May and Leidos will likely submit its vehicle bid in July. The contract award is scheduled to occur by year-end, with initial lunar operations envisaged in 2028.

Design features of the Leidos vehicle include a top speed of 15 kph (9 mph) and a range “in excess” of 20 km (12 mi.). The vehicle has an advanced thermal management system to cope with the extreme temperature ranges expected during NASA’s Artemis missions targeting the lunar south pole area.

Leidos has already submitted a bid for the Human Landing System Sustaining Lunar Development contract, a key component of NASA’s efforts to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon. Leidos also is working on the Universal Stage Adapter for NASA, an element that would enable the transport of large payloads, including the rover it unveiled.

The Leidos LTV features four large, flexible, wire-mesh wheels with stiff inner frames to prevent overdeflection. Lights are integrated into the front wheel arches, which pivot with the steering to illuminate terrain directly in front of the vehicle as it turns. The large arches are designed to turn with the wheels to prevent excess moondust from being kicked up over the vehicle.

“The vehicle is built around the crew,” Matt Doude, business development lead and space systems program manager for the Dynetics LTV, told Aviation Week at the LTV unveiling on April 18. “We started with a model of male and female suited crewmembers and designed around them to maximize effectiveness and time on task while on the surface.”

Doude said the company expects to “spend the next 12 months or so getting to the preliminary design review, and we’ll have a vehicle operational when the Artemis 5 crew arrives on the surface, which is notionally 2027-28.” He added that studies of various launch and landing system options are underway. “We’re in discussions with a number of lander providers and we like to remain lander-agnostic—we can deliver the vehicle with a number of options,” he said.

Created: 2023-07-17

Updated: 2024-03-02


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