NASA Announces New Moon Partnerships with U.S. Companies

Ismael LynchDec 07, 2018

The public are invited to ask questions using the Twitter hashtag #askNASA, or by leaving a comment on the NASA Facebook livestream.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (far left) and Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen (far right) pose for a photograph with the representatives of the nine USA companies that are eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts.

He said the organization was struggling with financial burdens but there was a clear five-year plan that would lead to a new age of space technology.

In the team of Draper Laboratory, which cooperated with NASA on the Apollo moon landings, ispace will act as the design agent for the lunar lander Artemis-7 and mission operations, as well as provide high-frequency ride-share opportunities.

The space agency said in a statement the goal is to bring many science and technology experiments to the moon as soon as possible.

Speaking later to AFP, Bridenstine said the review shows how seriously NASA takes the safety of its astronauts.

"Working with United States companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the moon and Mars", NASA said in a.

In December, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, giving NASA a new direction: "The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery".

NASA has selected the first batch of US companies to join the agency on its journey to its next destination, the moon, which NASA wants to explore in order to prepare to go on to Mars. NASA wants to return to the moon to make scientific discoveries, find resources and establish an off-Earth presence for humans.

At a press conference Thursday, the space agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, introduced nine private companies that have been chosen to help send small science payloads to the moon in the coming years.

The companies, some which will develop small launch vehicles and robotic rovers over the next 10 years, will vie for a chunk of the $2.6 billion under the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.

While there isn't much in NASA's plans beyond its current lunar gateway, the agency did say the missions would inform the development of technology to return humans to the lunar surface and on to Mars. "Our investment is low because we have other people who are investing", said Bridenstine. Insight arrived at Mars on Monday.

Astrobotic's Peregrine Lunar Lander is created to deliver up to a 35-kilogram payload to the lunar surface.

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