Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

NASA turning over moon landing efforts to companies in the private sector

NASA turning over moon landing efforts to companies in the private sector

"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".

Bridenstine, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and Oklahoma congressman tapped by President Donald Trump in April as NASA chief, said the plan was part of Trump's Space Directive-1 policy.

"Today's announcement marks tangible progress in America's return to the Moon's surface to stay", announced Bridenstine during a public event held Thursday.

The White House Space Policy Directive 1, signed December 11, 2017, revised USA 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.

'We want multiple providers that are competing on cost and innovation, Bridenstine said. "On our last 10 interplanetary missions for NASA, we delivered on or ahead of schedule, and on budget. This time, when we go, no kidding, we're going to go". "The reason we're doing it fast is a multilevel strategy to grow the market and take ambiguity out of the process".

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"Astrobotic was built for this opportunity, and we stand ready to lead America back to the Moon." said Thornton.

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

The US$993 million (RM4.16 million) lander, which landed on Monday and appears to be in good shape, will soon begin unfolding its robotic arm and deploying its quake-sensors on the Martian surface.

Astronaut Stan Love revealed NASA was developing systems for astronaut training.

By 2023, the first rocket would carry astronauts around the Moon, in an even more distant orbit than the Apollo missions. The first few launches will probably be technology demonstrations, but NASA hopes to study radiation exposure on the moon as well as the potential for in-situ resource extraction.

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After the September 6 incident, Bridenstine said he "had a number of conversations" with the SpaceX founder and believes "you won't be seeing that again". There was certainly a lot of clapping at NASA Headquarters Nov. 29 when NASA announced the nine companies it selected to participate in CLPS.

Earlier this year, NASA shocked scientists by canceling the Resource Prospector mission, the only American lunar rover now in development.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen welcome representatives from nine private companies that will be involved in NASA's future missions to the moon and Mars.

Hot on the heels of successfully landing a spacecraft on Mars on November 26, NASA officials explained it will partner with nine private companies who "will compete to deliver experiments to the lunar surface", the Associated Press reported Thursday.

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