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NASA looks to outsource Moon delivery services

NASA plans to return to the moon with the help of private companies

"That legacy continues as we return to the moon and beyond with CLPS". It's working with several partners including Japan's Ispace.

NASA's current plan is to start by sending gear to the Moon, and build an orbiting lunar station beginning in 2022. NASA will be one of multiple customers using these lunar services.

The space agency says it will award a total of $2.6 billion to private businesses for the moon effort over the next 10 years. The company has previously worked with NASA to develop Moon commercial cargo transporation capabilities and was the first private company authorized by the USA government to land on the Moon. "We've had a number of conversations..."

Masten Space Systems is developing the XL-1 lander for CLPS. The InSight lander was built by Lockheed Martin, a private us company. Some of these have already made successful voyages to the Moon and Mars.

Aside from Lockheed Martin, most of the aerospace firms are not too well known. "On our last 10 interplanetary missions for NASA, we delivered on or ahead of schedule, and on budget". You've probably heard of some of these companies, but others are new players in space exploration.

Lockheed Martin's lander concept has been dubbed the McCandless Lunar Lander.

The vehicle had been in development for about a decade to explore a polar region of the Moon.

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"There isn't a direct connection to Orion, but this offering does pull from our planetary heritage overall". You might recognize these companies from the Lunar X Prize.

The revived interest in the moon can be attributed in part to President Trump's Space Policy Directive which views the moon as a vital staging area for future missions to Mars, manned or otherwise. He passed away on December 21, 2017 at the age of 80.

The goal is to get science and technology experiments to the surface of the moon as soon as possible, and the first flight could be next year.

Both Astrobotic Technology and Moon Express are on the list as well. Those involved with CLPS underlined the spirit of cooperation required for complex programs such as this one to be successful.

Draper will lead a team, including three other companies, to design, manufacture and launch a lunar lander - dubbed "Artemis-7" - to the moon. We've proven this with the ISS with commercial resupply and, soon, commercial crew.

Bridenstine said it will be up to the companies to arrange their own rocket rides.

He added that he was the one who called for the safety review, announced November 20, of the two companies tasked with building the spacecraft that will enable Americans once again to send people to space - a capacity the United States lost in 2011 with the retirement of the space shuttle program. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

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