NASA turns to private companies for future moon missions

Pat Wise
December 2, 2018

Unlike past programs where NASA managed every aspect of a space mission, the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program will enable the agency to "buy the service, we're not going to purchase, own and operate the hardware, we're going to buy the service", Bridenstine said.

In many ways, CLPS resembles NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which uses billions of dollars to coax private companies (like SpaceX and Boeing) to capable of to and from orbit.

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.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of when U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. That's because Musk, the company's founder, is pursuing to reach the moon and Mars with BFR. Moon landers would carry scientific experiments to the lunar surface as well as scouting potential moon base locations, most likely in the darkened craters at the moon's poles that are filled with frozen water.

In Paris, the French space agency CERN said everything seems fine for the moment, and that it is up to NASA to communicate with the SEIS quake-sensing instrument.

SpaceIL, an Israeli company and former X Prize contestant, says it will send a robotic lander to the moon's surface with SpaceX's help early next year.

Thomas Zurbuchen is head of NASA's science mission directorate, which leads the new flight efforts. "Our investment is low because we have other people who are investing", said Bridenstine.

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If you've been paying attention to the NASA news, you'll have noticed that the last week has been pretty busy for the company.

It's exciting to imagine putting people on the Moon again, but hard to picture it working out very well.

Now Bridenstine has commented publicly on the incident for the first time.

Right now, Jurczyk said, he and others in the space agency's leadership are laser-focused on test launches for its, a competition for private companies to build and launch American-made spaceships. The two organizations are collaborating to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

Orbit Beyond: A New Jersey-based company building spacecraft bound for the Moon.

Moon Express began global expansion in 2018 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Space Agency and the establishment of strategic partnerships with a number of Canadian space companies.

The White House Space Policy Directive 1, signed December 11, 2017, revised United States national space policy to integrate NASA's programs with private sector partners to return to the Moon before continuing on to human exploration of Mars.

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