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NASA Issues Request For Information On Lunar Communications

By | August 25, 2008

      NASA issued a request for information, or RFI, for concepts concerning communications and navigation services that could be used on the moon.

      The space agency wishes to gauge interest and solicit ideas from private companies for systems that would support development of exploration, scientific and commercial capabilities on the moon over the next 25 years.

      NASA plans to establish science stations on the lunar surface beginning as early as 2013, followed by the return of humans to the moon and establishment of the first lunar outpost in 2020.

      In ensuing years, NASA plans to establish and operate a permanent encampment on the moon. And at a still later time, the U.S. space effort would send a manned mission to Mars.

      Communications, networking and navigation capabilities required to support these efforts will be provided by NASA, other national space agencies, private industry or some combination thereof.

      Services for which NASA seeks information in this RFI are communications, networking, and position, navigation and timing. The information requested is for planning purposes only, as this RFI is one step of a larger study that will culminate in a final NASA report addressing strategies for the commercial co-development of lunar communications and navigation.

      Communication and navigation services may include, but are not limited to, terrestrial network services, terrestrial ground stations, Earth-orbiting capabilities, lunar orbiting capabilities, and lunar surface capabilities. They may be complete "turn-key" services, subsystems or components; partial solutions such as applications for specific functions; or other capabilities believed to be necessary to meet a portion of anticipated needs.

      Responses should be submitted to Barbara Adde, NASA Headquarters, Mail Suite 7L70, 300 E. Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20546-0001, by 4 p.m. ET Sept. 15.

      To view the request for information, please visit on the Web.

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