Third Item of Business: Lunar Lander Project
Lauri Hansen, Lunar Lander Project Manager, provided an overview and status of the Constellation Lunar Lander project top-level vision and project plan.
Members questioned Hansen about the lessons learned from the Apollo program, specifically the high cost of the lander compared to the overall program and the drivers for cost. Hansen replied that they are trying to understand what contributed to the high cost of the Apollo lander and are integrating the lessons learn~d. Given that weight was such a contributing factor on Apollo they are bringing in industry experts on materials to lower the risk and gain a better understanding. Special notices to industry and website postings have been used to solicit information, and Hansen anticipates using Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) and Requests for Information (RFIs) in the future to support the process.
There was a discussion of when the lander would be contracted out. As a point of reference, Hansen noted that Ares is being designed in-house through Critical Design Review (CDR) and the Orion design stayed in-house through Systems Requirement Review (SRR). Hansen stated that they want to keep the lander design in-house beyond SRR but probably not as far as CDR. Members questioned if the option of building the lander completely in-house had been considered. Hansen replied that this will be an ongoing production effort and would not be well suited for the government. Other options discussed ranged from building the first lander in-house then contracting out from there to bringing in the contractor early and contracting out the whole thing. Geveden replied that what NASA wants to do is be able to make an intelligent decision when the time comes.
PMC Action 2: Lunar Lander Project add a Science Mission Directorate representative to the Lunar Lander steering committee.