NASA looks to private companies for deliveries to the moon

NASA looks to private companies for deliveries to the moon

"The timeline is unprecedented".

The US and Russian Federation are taking their fight outside-of Earth's atmosphere.

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

The Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts announced Thursday have a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years.

Each consortium will file bids with NASA, which will issue contracts based on price, time to launch, and technical feasibility.

"We are excited to partner with these incredible companies at the dawn of a new era of lunar and solar system exploration", stated Moon Express founder & CEO, Bob Richards. Maintaining a permanent human presence in lunar orbit will require a lot of support services that NASA can't handle on its own.

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The space agency will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting there, he said.

Through new partnerships with private companies, NASA aims to ramp up its efforts to return to the moon. The Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) has its first official partners.

Private companies - instead of NASA - will lead the race back to the moon, with launch target dates set for 2019 - the 50 anniversary of the first manned moon landing.

One of the key elements for NASA's future missions to Mars will be to use the moon as the gateway. "I think those were not helpful", NASA contractor Jim Brindenstine, told reporters at NASA headquarters in Washington DC, when asked if Musk's past behaviour had prompted him to order the review, The Atlantic reported. "When you combine those investments with the extensible capability of the team and our history of delivering humans to the moon and bringing them back, we're positioned well to meet NASA's mission needs". "What seems to have changed is the color of carpet", he said.

"We didn't want to wait until after there's an accident, because we don't believe there's going to be an accident, but we wanted to make sure that we do that assessment early and not after the fact". This is not going to be 'Lucy and the football' again. They further plan to go on to Mars, reported Mashable. It is an experimental part of the agency's plan for Americans to orbit the Moon starting in 2023, and land astronauts on the surface no later than the late 2020s. [Image: NASA] By example, he cited a set of retro-reflector instruments, in partnership with Germany and Israel, as nearly ready to go.

"We believe that there is a lot of incredible science that we can do on the surface of the Moon", Bridenstine said. Our portfolio is larger, so we can take more risks and get it done fast.

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