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NASA Centers to Test Lunar Exploration Flight Software; Jacob Hageman Quoted

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NASA Lunar
NASA Lunar Gateway Mission

Two NASA-operated facilities will collaborate on the testing and certification processes for flight software the agency intends to use on its mission to land astronauts on the moon in 2024.

The Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland started conducting tests of the core Flight System to help address the lunar Gateway's operational requirements and will deliver the technology to the Johnson Space Center in Texas for additional software performance checks, potential updates and crew rating, NASA said Wednesday.

Goddard software developers built cFS in 2004 and updated the software to support multiple spaceflight missions such as the Constellation Programs Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Solar Probe Plus and the Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Project.

“The Artemis program provides resources to help us improve the product, which benefits everyone who uses it," said Jacob Hageman, team lead for the Gateway cFS certification effort.

NASA recently awarded SpaceX a $331.8 million contract to launch the lunar outpost's solar electric propulsion spacecraft and crew cabin by May 2021 aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.

Maxar Technologies will manufacture the Power and Propulsion Element with 60-kilowatt solar array under a $375 million contract, while Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) will produce the Habitation and Logistics Outpost under a $187 million contract.