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Babst Calland today announced that under a recently announced NASA award, Astrobotic Technologies, Inc. (Astrobotic) has selected the firm to develop what could become the first-of-its-kind blueprint for commercial payload delivery to space for the Artemis human missions as well as future human-crewed space missions.
Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic will be developing the commercial payload service for Dynetics (a Leidos subsidiary), one of three prime contractors (alongside SpaceX and Blue Origin) selected by NASA to design and build a commercial Human Landing System (HLS) and compete to build a privately-developed system to take the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 as part of the NASA Artemis program.
“As the leading lunar payload delivery provider, we are thrilled to begin setting up this new business model onboard the Dynetics human lander,” said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton. “With payload expertise from our Peregrine and Griffin lunar lander programs, we are well-positioned to extend our payload services to include the new lunar lander. We’re helping to develop and set the standard for the commercial payload market, and that is very exciting,” added Thornton.
Dynetics is leading a broad coalition of industry partners, including Astrobotic, to not only send humans back to the lunar surface, but to also help companies, governments, universities, and nonprofits across the globe send non-human payloads onboard the Artemis Human Lander System. Such payloads can include critical instruments, project and infrastructure products and materials that can support human activities on the lunar surface.
“Helping to launch this new mission to the Moon and to develop the commercial, policy and regulatory framework for its payload delivery business is an exciting opportunity for Astrobotic, all of its partners, and for our team of attorneys at Babst Calland, “ said Justine M. Kasznica, Outside General Counsel for Astrobotic, and Chair of the Firm’s Emerging Technologies practice.
“It’s exciting to be a part of such a groundbreaking opportunity as a legal partner to Astrobotic,” said Donald C. Bluedorn II, Managing Shareholder at Babst Calland. “We are thrilled to be involved in this important role for our national space program.”