NASA Names 9 Private Companies in Competition to Build Moon Probes

В NASA запланировали новую миссию на Луну

В NASA запланировали новую миссию на Луну

Astrobotic has been competitively selected to be a delivery provider of NASA payloads to the Moon on the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract.

The announcement is part of NASA's larger goal to get back to the moon, and Bridenstine is enthusiastic about our lunar future.

NASA's Moon to Mars program was launched in September, a result of President Donald Trump's space policy directive instructing NASA to "lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and global partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities". NASA astronauts last landed there in 1972, and no U.S. spacecraft has touched down on the lunar surface in one piece since then.

Zurbuchen said Thursday that a mobile lunar laboratory remains one of NASA's goals for Moon exploration, though such a mission would likely be developed through a more traditional process. The company is also an official partner with NASA through the Lunar CATALYST Program. Maintaining a permanent human presence in lunar orbit will require a lot of support services that NASA can't handle on its own.

It is worth noting that on 26 November the spacecraft Mars InSight landing on Mars.

The Trump administration sees the moon as an opportunity to test technologies as well as new strategies that could reduce the price tag for trips to space, and jump-start new commercial companies.

Trump's administration was clear in its directive requesting that the NASA Administrator shall, 'Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and worldwide partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.

Likewise, Boeing and SpaceX are readying new commercial crew ships to carry astronaut to and from the space station starting next year.

On the other hand, NASA's initial plan in the lunar mission will be building a space station called "Gateway" which will orbit around the moon.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced nine U.S. companies would compete in delivering experiments to the lunar surface.

Altogether, these Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts have a combined value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years. "Each are entrepreneurial pioneers of commercial space bringing key capabilities to the table, and we look forward to working with them in offering robotic expeditions to the Moon for science, commerce and exploration".

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. It will design and build lunar landers to facilitate scientific exploration of the Moon and help create a base there.

"We have been maturing our lander technology over the last 10 years in preparation for this day", Matthew Kuhns chief engineer with Masten Space Systems and SpaceFlight Insider contributor said when asked what this means for Masten.

The McCandless Lunar Lander is named after the late astronaut and former Lockheed Martin employee Bruce McCandless.

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