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Northrop Grumman to Develop Lunar Railroad for DARPA

By Abbey Weltman | March 19, 2024
      The moon. Photo: Shutterstock

      The moon. Photo: Shutterstock

      The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Northrop Grumman to design and concept a Moon-based railroad network as part of DARPA’s 10-year Lunar Architecture (LunA-10) capability study. The envisioned lunar railroad network could transport humans, and resources across the lunar surface for commercial use. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

      Northrop Grumman will aim to define the costs and resources needed for the lunar rail network. Its study will craft prototypes and conduct demonstrations. Northrop also plans to explore concepts for operating the system with robotics, including foundation preparation, track placement, inspection, and maintenance. 

      “This investment in key developmental research keeps our technology at the forefront of next generation solutions. With our proven experience in the integration of complex systems and commercialized autonomous services, we will continue to create lasting change for a sustainable space ecosystem,” said Chris Adams, vice president and general manager, Strategic Space Systems, Northrop Grumman 

      DARPA’s LunA-10 study is designed to facilitate new technology ideas and scientific projects. Its goal is to establish an analytical framework for lunar infrastructures that both minimize lunar footprint and provide commercial services for future lunar users.