Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Next US Moon Landing Will be by Private Companies, Not NASA

NASA looks to outsource Moon delivery services NASA plans to return to the moon with the help of private companies
Kristen Harrington | 01 December, 2018, 07:59

These contracts will be geared to filling the needs of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program over the next ten years of its development.

Even Bridenstine said that while NASA wants the companies to succeed, the space agency is certain some of the efforts will fail.

The relatively small and cheap payloads delivered via the CLPS program would be followed by more traditional medium- and large-class missions, Bridenstine said, including an eventual crewed mission to the Moon.

NASA also told TheBlaze that competition between outside companies like this "typically leads to more innovative and less costly solutions for the design of spacecraft".

Sending American astronauts into space aboard SpaceX hardware is another, and it appears NASA is going to be a lot more strict about how SpaceX and its CEO behave now that the company is in the midst of building vehicles to carry crew.

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.

'Pokemon Go' Teases New PvP Feature
Niantic spent all of Friday morning teasing the announcement with a series of mysterious tweets, each one clearer than the last. In other words, the arrival of trainer battles was always just a matter of time.

Going to the moon isn't new for Draper.

It also continues a trend at NASA toward public-private partnerships for exploration.

"I will tell you that was not helpful", Bridenstine told assembled reporters at a press gathering at NASA HQ.

Remarks made on Thursday, Nov. 29 reinforced NASA's assertion it was returning to the Moon.

"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". As part of the contract - which is worth a $6.8 billion - the companies need to "maintain a program for achieving a drug-and alcohol-free workforce". NASA will evaluate bids as they come in for technical feasibility and cost. No money was awarded Thursday.

In a separate news release, NASA said that "l$3 unar payloads could fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019". Draper spokesman Dan Dent said the missions will involve deploying technologies to collect samples and study the moon.

A 7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Just Shook Alaska
Officials said the natural disaster , and its aftershocks, struck near Anchorage at about 9:30 a.m. with a 17 mile depth. A tsunami warning was issued for the southern Alaska coastal areas of Cook's Inlet and part of the Kenai peninsula.

It was revealed last week that NASA will be conducting an investigation into the company culture of SpaceX after concerns over Elon Musk's behavior began to grow within NASA's upper management.

Ultimately, these upcoming missions will help NASA gather data in order to prepare to send a lander with a person in it to the Martian surface. The contracts that the companies can bid on include launching and landing services and payload delivery systems.

NASA now is building a huge new rocket, the Space Launch System, and the Orion deep space capsule to carry astronauts back to lunar orbit in the early 2020s and eventually to a Lunar Gateway space station that will serve as an outpost for visiting astronauts and a jumping off point for human and robotic flights to and from the lunar surface.

While NASA's commercial partners remain firmly on the ground, with their workplaces under review by a nervous agency, Russian Federation has no such worries.

Mr Musk's SpaceX is one of two firms contracted to build a shuttle that will fly U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station from American territory - something that was ended in 2011. In a departure from past practice, the companies own their rockets and spacecraft and can use them for other, non-government missions if a market develops. In a news release, NASA said that "w$3 orking with us companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and Mars".

"Today's announcement marks tangible progress in America's return to the moon's surface to stay", NASA's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said in a statement.

Macron to meet Saudi crown prince at G20
He even threatened to withhold his vote on key measures if that didn't happen and declared, "I'm not going to blow past this". It was unclear whether the French president was calling for an global investigation beyond existing Turkish and Saudi probes.

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