Dynetics is one of the three companies working on the new lunar module. Their solution is reusable and resembles part of a lunar base.
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Three subjects are competing to be the one that builds the lunar module – Musk’s SpaceX with its Starship, Blue Origin leads a consortium of many companies, and then there’s Dynetics. Dynetics may seem like bit of an outsider in the battle, but their solution is quite interesting.
Dynetics was founded in 1974 and mostly works as a contractor for the Department of Defense working on sensors and rocket systems. In 2016, Dynetics was one of the four companies that got a contract from DARPA to develop a drone and the result of that was Dynetics X-61 Gremlins.
But, Dynetics also works with NASA, for example on developing the SLS rocket which is part of the Artemis program, or on building the Peregrine module.
While Starship from SpaceX is quite nontraditional and poses a lot of questions whether it would be adequate and the solution from Blue Origin and its consortium resembles the Apollo lunar module on steroids Dynetics decided to take their own approach.
When you first look at their lunar module it will remind you more of part of a lunar base than a device that brings astronauts to the Moon and back. As Andy Crook said – when they realized that if they came with something conventional they would have a rough time standing out as their company is not that well known, they needed something different.
The Dynetics module is called ALPACA (Logistics Platform for All-Moon Cargo Access). It is on the smaller side of things, but at the same time, it is modular and reusable. It uses eight engines (four on each side) to land and get back to the Moon’s orbit.
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