NASA Announces the Companies Competing to Put us Back on the Moon
NASA Announces the Companies Competing to Put us Back on the Moon
Media Invited to Discussion on Langley's Role in Moon to Mars Partnerships
30 November, 2018, 18:41
Now, NASA is contracting out its next moon missions to companies that will do long-term scientific study and experiments.
In a blog and a subsequent news conference, NASA announced that it would be allowing nine different companies to bid on "NASA delivery services to the lunar surface".
NASA plans to award about $2.6 billion over the course of 10 years that the companies can compete for.
"Lunar payloads could fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019", NASA said in an earlier news release. The space program has also reportedly floated the idea of selling tourists tickets to space.
Unlike past programs where NASA managed every aspect of a space mission, the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program will enable the agency to "buy the service, we're not going to purchase, own and operate the hardware, we're going to buy the service", Bridenstine said. "The innovation of America's aerospace companies, wedded with our big goals in science and human exploration, are going to help us achieve unbelievable things on the Moon and feed forward to Mars".
29, NASA announced the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program in which the space agency hopes it will become one customer among many.
The number 7 was chosen for the new craft because Draper-guided spacecraft made six round trips to the moon between 1969 and 1972, during the Apollo program. The agency now partners with the private sector for other missions, including human transport to the International Space Station (ISS) wherein SpaceX and Boeing are developing capsules for that objective, and the Directive expands that to include deep space missions. "We call it the McCandless Lunar Lander", Hopkins said.
Prior to the announcement, Bridenstine spoke on The Hill TV's "Rising" program, emphasizing the goal of the Space Policy Directive's mission to build the capabilities of not only returning to the Moon, but stay as a sustained presence.
"This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and, perhaps, someday to many worlds beyond".
But with this program, NASA is looking to replicate the success of SpaceX, the private rocket company led by Elon Musk.
Firefly Aerospace designs, manufactures and operates launch vehicles for the small satellite and Draper works to provide payload operations guidance systems for the lunar lander.
Meanwhile, NASA is planning to go back to the moon too and has recently partnered with nine private firms to help it achieve its goal. NASA had "never done anything that fast" before, Zurbuchen said.
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