Announcement — 16 January 2014:
Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST)
Building on the progress of NASA's partnerships with the U.S. commercial space industry to develop new spacecraft and rockets capable of delivering cargo -- and soon, astronauts to low Earth orbit -- the agency recognizes the U.S. industry's interest in reaching and exploring the moon, and is now looking for opportunities to spur commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the surface of the moon.
NASA has released an announcement seeking proposals to partner in the development of commercial robotic lunar lander capabilities. Such capabilities could support commercial activities on the moon while enabling new science and exploration missions of interest to the larger scientific and academic communities.
NASA's new Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) initiative calls for proposals from the U.S. private sector that would lead to one or more no-funds exchanged Space Act Agreements (SAA). The purpose of these SAAs would be to encourage the development of robotic lunar landers that can be integrated with U.S. commercial launch capabilities to deliver small and medium class payloads to the lunar surface.
Update -- 5 February 2014:
Q&A Posting #1, including answers to 18 questions received during the Pre-proposal teleconference or submitted by email, was released.
Amendment 1 to the Lunar CATALYST Announcement was released, replacing the original Announcement in its entirety. The amendment includes an update to Template 1, with instructions to provide rationale to demonstrate that requested NASA contributions are not reasonably available on a commercial basis. The amendment also corrects the article numbering in the draft Space Act Agreement.
Key Dates (2014):
Jan. 16: Announcement released
Jan. 27: Pre-proposal teleconference (Briefing charts — 309 KB PDF)
Feb. 05: Lunar CATALYST Amendment #1 and Q&A Posting #1 released
Feb. 10: Proposed NASA Contributions forms due (4 p.m. EST) by email to: email@example.com
Feb. 28: NASA feedback on Proposed Contributions form submissions
March 17: Proposals due (4 p.m. EDT) by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org