NASA looks to private companies for deliveries to the moon


NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the nine companies that will be the first to participate in the agency's new Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

While speaking to the reporters this Thursday in Washington D.C., NASA administrator Kim Bridenstine said that Musk's behavior was not at all an appropriate one. It's the first step towards "long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars". While it is debatable if that would have any effect on SpaceX employees, NASA's intention to err on the side of caution is also valid, as the agency has the lives of its own astronauts to worry about. Its multi-year plan looks to deliver several small payloads of instruments and rovers to the surface of the Moon with manned missions planned for later.

Thomas Zurbuchen is head of NASA's science mission directorate, which leads the new flight efforts.

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"We're going to buy the service and that enables us to be one customer of many customers spreading the cost".

"On the Gateway, America and its partners will prepare to transit deep space, testing new technologies and systems as we build the infrastructure to support missions to the surface of the Moon and prepare for the epochal mission to Mars", the agency said.

NASA will also re-evaluate the private sector landscape periodically for emerging players that may be able to offer lunar delivery capabilities, and which may offer CLPS contacts to more companies through on-ramping process. The Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) has its first official partners.

NASA looks to outsource Moon delivery services
NASA Reveals 9 Commercial Partners for Lunar Missions

Among the nine mostly small start-up companies selected by NASA is one large defence contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp.

During a week when the InSight Lander touched down on Mars, researchers said the future is looking bright.

They may encounter a few somewhat familiar faces upon arrival at the lunar surface, however; Israeli company SpaceIL is hoping to send a robotic lander with assistance from SpaceX early next year, while India and China have both announced plans to send robotic landers to the Moon in 2019. This image of the moon was taken above Newfoundland from the International Space Station.

In March, Astrobotic was working with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to find room on a rocket that could fly Peregrine to the moon sometime in 2020.

Moon Express began global expansion in 2018 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Space Agency and the establishment of strategic partnerships with a number of Canadian space companies.

Nasa along with Musk's SpaceX and Boeing is developing transportation systems that would allow the USA to fly astronauts from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.

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