NASA Chooses Nine Companies to Bid on Flying to Moon

02 December, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • NASA looks to outsource Moon delivery services

NASA announced several commercial partners Thursday in the US space agency's quest to return humans to the moon - and eventually Mars.

The companies will bid to deliver science and technology payloads through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts. NASA believes the first missions could head for the moon as soon as next year, and it already has some payloads in mind.

"The intent to return to the moon is to do some science exploration, to land and explore the lunar surface and then finally pave the way for eventual human return to the moon", Dent said in a phone interview. That's because Musk, the company's founder, is pursuing to reach the moon and Mars with BFR.

NASA has revealed the names of nine USA companies that now will join it in its journey to the Moon. Similarly, CLPS hopes to encourage smaller companies to develop of 1,100- to 2,200-pound robotic landers that can deliver NASA's scientific payloads to the moon's surface.

"We want to establish and open architecture capability-of data, communications, avionics, docking-to go from the Earth to the moon over and over again so any individual who can attract the capital, or company, could access it", said Bridenstine.

"I would say NASA is taking a risk but that's not a bad thing". "We've had a number of conversations", he explained.

In the framework of CLPS, the Agency will award multiple contracts for the lunar mission within the next 10 years.


Bridenstine said he needs 100 percent commitment to safety from companies with which NASA does business. He also said he expects to have people regularly working on the moon within 10 years.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, said NASA will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting to the moon. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman, formerly Orbital ATK, have built space station shipments since 2012.

The agency is also conducting a review of SpaceX and Boeing to assess the cultures of the government contractors.

By 2023, the first rocket would carry astronauts around the Moon, in an even more distant orbit than the Apollo missions.

Of the group, the only well-known name is aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, which has a long track record of success with NASA and built the InSight lander that touched down Monday on Mars.

SpaceX and Boeing are developing spaceships with NASA that will carry USA astronauts into space for the first time since the last space shuttle flight in 2011. The lander is created to explore under the surface, studying the geology of the planet and seeking signs of Martian earthquakes. His report is based on information from the Associated Press, Reuters and NASA. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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