Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

NASA selects nine United States companies to vie for moon programme funding

NASA selects nine United States companies to vie for moon programme funding

The nine companies announced are: Astrobotic Technology, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Firefly Aerospace., Intuitive Machines, Lockheed Martin Space, Masten Space Systems, Moon Express, and Orbit Beyond.

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.

According to NASA, nine firms are now eligible to compete for NASA contracts for delivery services to the lunar surface over the next decade.

Each consortium will file bids with NASA, which will issue contracts based on price, time to launch, and technical feasibility. It highlights the innumerable government-led space boondoggles, how companies could profit from extraterrestrial travel and the timing of playing the guitar in space and golf on the moon.

Including partners in their moon plans will allow NASA to launch more frequent, cost-effective trips to the moon, which means that more frequent experiments will be able to land, Bridenstine said.

NASA officials said the research will help get astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keep them safer once they're there.

NASA has not said anything about the condition of the other instruments on board, which include a French-made seismometer to study Marsquakes and a German self-hammering mole to measure heat's escape from the planet. "If you want to learn the age of the solar system, you take samples from the moon and analyze them". And India and China both have announced plans to send robotic explorers to the moon's surface in 2019. The first such flight could come as early as next year.

Moon Express, a privately funded USA commercial space company founded in 2010 with the goal of providing low cost, frequent access to the Moon for science, exploration and commerce while seeking new resources to benefit Earth.

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.

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.

A spokesperson for SpaceX declined to comment on Bridenstine's remarks, the report said.

SpaceX and Boeing are developing spaceships with NASA that will carry US astronauts into space for the first time since the last space shuttle flight in 2011. NASA wants to return to the moon to make scientific discoveries, find resources and establish an off-Earth presence for humans.

He also said NASA hopes to be just one of several customers providing payloads for these commercial missions. SpaceX and Boeing are planning to start transporting astronauts to the space station sometime next year.

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