Ispace to bid on Nasa lunar payload contracts

02 December, 2018, 07:30 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Elon Musk

"We're trying to very quickly develop an American capability to deliver small payloads to the surface of the moon and then grow from there", Bridenstine said during the announcement.

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.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Thursday that nine USA companies will compete to deliver experiments to the lunar surface.

"The relatively small and low-cost payloads delivered via the CLPS program would be followed by more traditional medium- and large-class missions", said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Bridenstine said he ordered safety reviews of SpaceX and Boeing, another NASA contractor - which were first reported by The Washington Post earlier this month - but stressed that he had wanted the reviews of their corporate culture before Musk was filmed smoking weed. This includes encouraging private investment where possible and shifting sights to lunar science, including the Gateway Lunar Orbital Platform and a human return to the Moon in the short term. All contracts to be signed are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity and have a combined value of $2.6 billion for the following ten years.

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The number 7 was chosen for the new craft because Draper-guided spacecraft made six round trips to the moon between 1969 and 1972, during the Apollo program.

"We're returning to the Moon, preparing to go beyond to Mars".

"We are announcing new moon partnerships with American companies", Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, on Tuesday. There was President Trump's Space Policy Directive One for one, and the involvement of both commercial and global partners. The company is now developing a "Peregrine Lander" aimed at orbital and surface operations for any lunar destination. "The innovation of America's aerospace companies, wedded with our big goals in science and human exploration, are going to help us achieve unbelievable things on the Moon and feed forward to Mars".

Two advantages of the partnerships include getting USA astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keeping them safer after they arrive. NASA might also reinstate instruments from the canceled Resource Prospector lunar mining mission. SpaceX and Northrup Grumman are building and launching cargo ships to the International Space Station under commercial contracts that allow NASA to essentially purchase a given launch service rather than designing, developing and operating the vehicles in house. Lockheed Martin based its moon lander on InSight, the spacecraft that landed on Mars this week. Meanwhile, a startup called Orbit Beyond is in the running for NASA's moon payloads, and it's working with TeamIndus, the Indian spaceflight company that nearly won the Lunar X Prize competition.

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