NASA Partners with Business to Explore the Moon, Mars

Elon Musk Is Thinking Of Moving To Mars

Elon Musk Is Thinking Of Moving To Mars

On Nov. 29, NASA invited media to its headquarters in Washington, D.C. for the announcement of new Moon partnerships with American companies.

The full list of the selected companies: Lockheed Martin, Astrobotic, Moon Express, Masten Space Systems, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Intuitive Machines, Orbit Beyond, and Firefly Aerospace.

Maston Space Systems: A Mojave-based company focused on reusable rocket technology and reliable planetary landers for the Earth, Moon, Mars, and beyond.

NASA hopes that others will use these services as space travel becomes an endeavour accessible to private corporations.

Following Elon Musk's recent appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast - during which he smoked weed and drank whiskey while on the air - NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the SpaceX CEO promised him he will not behave inappropriately in public again. Of the company considered only if they agreed to deliver the first mission until the end of 2021, in connection with NASA about the proposals earlier this year.

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".

The contracts call for indefinite deliveries and quantities with a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years.

Among the research projects the companies are working on include radiation monitors, laser reflectors for gravity and measurement devices, said moon project leader Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA science mission head.

The dressing down came days after NASA ordered a safety review of Boeing and SpaceX, both under contract to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

Apart from building a human colony on Mars, scientists are also planning to build up a colony on the moon, and as per Russian scientists they will make it happen within 20 years. NASA expects to be only one of many customers that will use the commercial landing services - from the Earth to the Moon - created by the program. Its multi-year plan looks to deliver several small payloads of instruments and rovers to the surface of the Moon with manned missions planned for later. Sean Mahoney, chief executive of Masten, called the award a long-awaited milestone for the company, which won part of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, part of NASA's Centennial Challenges prize program, almost a decade ago.

"We've had a number of conversations", said Bridenstein.

Two advantages of the partnerships include getting US astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keeping them safer after they arrive.

By 2023, the first rocket would carry astronauts around the Moon, in an even more distant orbit than the Apollo missions.

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