NASA Announces New Moon Partnerships with U.S. Companies

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The CLPS contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts and have a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years.

With Peregrine's robust delivery capacity, the lunar surface is open to NASA and the commercial market for resource prospecting, planetary science investigations, technology maturation, and other activities.

It's no surprise that Lockheed Martin Space is among the nine CLPS companies. Some of these have already made successful voyages to the Moon and Mars. While it is debatable if that would have any effect on SpaceX employees, NASA's intention to err on the side of caution is also valid, as the agency has the lives of its own astronauts to worry about. "This time, when we go, no kidding, we're going to go". "We've had a number of conversations", he said adding, "I will tell you, he is as committed to safety as anybody, and he understands that that was not appropriate behavior, and you won't be seeing that again".

Lockheed Martin's lander concept has been dubbed the McCandless Lunar Lander. In addition, Orbit Beyond will use the lander developed by Team Indus, the India-based company that was one of the prize's finalists.

"There isn't a direct connection to Orion, but this offering does pull from our planetary heritage overall".

Bridenstine, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and Oklahoma congressman tapped by President Donald Trump in April as NASA chief, said the plan was part of Trump's Space Directive-1 policy. He passed away on December 21, 2017 at the age of 80.

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NASA's objective in sending these payloads to the Moon is to further study its surface and gain valuable insight into potential challenges which could aid future manned missions to Mars.

Both Astrobotic Technology and Moon Express are on the list as well. Now Draper is in a new, homegrown space race to deliver unmanned craft to the lunar surface.

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. The craft will be created to land on the moon, acquire soil samples, and return them to Earth.

In response, NASA submitted a plan to Congress: the National Space Exploration Campaign, which "calls for human and robotic exploration missions to expand the frontiers of human experience and scientific discovery of the natural phenomena of Earth, other worlds and the cosmos", the agency said.

Lunar payloads could fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019.

SpaceX has been a contractor for NASA since 2012, ferrying supplies to the International Space Station aboard its Dragon cargo ship. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology,, The Mars Society and Universe Today.