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NASA looks to outsource Moon delivery services
NASA plans to return to the moon with the help of private companies

02 December, 2018

"We're going at high speed", said Zurbuchen.

"Today's announcement marks tangible progress in America's return to the Moon's surface to stay", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement published on November 29.

We want them to be successful.

The nine companies announced at the event will begin developing technology to support the upcoming Gateway lunar station and land small payloads on the moon itself.

Essentially, NASA's new Moon strategy will involve using private companies to build the stuff they send their experiments to the Moon on.

Two advantages of the partnerships include getting US astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keeping them safer after they arrive. NASA will continue looking at private sector for innovations and delivery solutions.

In December, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, giving NASA a new direction: "The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery. We don't think another approach is going to be as safe, affordable, and reliable". "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints - we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, worlds beyond".

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced nine United States companies would compete in delivering experiments to the lunar surface. The agency said it will consider a number of factors when comparing bids, such as price, schedule and most importantly, technical feasibility. No money was awarded Thursday.

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"It will reduce risk". Lockheed Martin based its moon lander on InSight, the spacecraft that landed on Mars this week.

NASA is pursuing dual projects of building a lunar orbital platform and returning astronauts to the moon in the mid-2020s - all of these missions are aimed towards eventually sending humans to Mars. The company is now developing a "Peregrine Lander" aimed at orbital and surface operations for any lunar destination.

India and Israel also plan to launch lunar landers next year.

Deep Space Systems: A Colorado-based company focused on systems engineering for supporting the design, development, integration, testing, and operations of science and exploration spacecraft.

NASA also plans to conduct workplace reviews of SpaceX and Boeing which is another contractor, but which were already under consideration before Musk's adventures on the Rogan podcast.

Russia plans between 2036 and 2040 to deploy on the moon full database, said available to RIA Novosti, the draft decision of the joint meeting of Roscosmos and Russian Academy of Sciences Council on space. This rocket is expected to stand about 322 feet tall and be able to lift about 70 tons of spacecraft hardware and supplies into orbit.

Nine selected companies are now eligible to bid on contracts that will deliver services to the moon.

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