In a new step forward, NASA announced Thursday that nine US dollars. It. Companies are eligible to bid on $ 2.6 billion worth of contracts over the next 10 years to deliver services to the moon.
The companies are Astrobotic Technology, Deep Space Systems, Dropper, Firefly Aerospace, Intuitive Machines, Lacquered Martin Space, Mass Space Systems, Moon Express and Orbit Next.
The companies intend to release science and technology payroll by NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts. The services will be launched from land and country on the Moon, and NASA will only be "one customer of many customers," agency administrator Jim Brentstein has Thursday.
The providers will compete on price and innovation, so NASA can perform more than ever, he said. The missions may start earlier than 2019.
"Today's announcement mark tedious progress in America return to the lawn's surface to stay," Bridenzine said. "The innovation of America's eraspace companies, weathered with our great goals in science and human exploration, are going to help us achieve amazing things on the moon and feed forward to Mars.
NASA also announced that the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program will be driven by the Agency Science Mission Directorate.
"This is a response to the scientific community that has long decided to do science on the surface of the moon," Bridensstein said. "There is a lot of amazing science we can do on the surface of the moon that we can not do anything else."
Thomas Zerbuten, the Associate Administrator for NASA Science Mission Directorate, said the moon is full of secrets and full of resources that can help provide human mushions on the lunar surface, such as water. We also have the ability to explore parts of the moon never studied before, he said.
"When I was a small child, there were humans on the surface of the moon, and right after they landed, they put up a science experiment: Aluminum Foil," Zurbuchen said. "That is lunar collected material from the sun and has provided the best measurements of the sun that we have for the next 25 years, which tells us that science and human exploration go together if you want to study the age of the solar system names Samples of the moon and analyze them. "
In December, President Trump sealed Place Policy Directive 1, giving NASA a new guide: "The directive I am signing today will refocus the World's Space Program for Human Exploration and Discovery. In the first step in returning American astronotta To the moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use This time, we will not only plant our flag and let our librarian – we will put a cause for an eventual mission to Mars, and maybe someday, worlds II Ether. "
The program "Moon to Mars" includes working with international and business partners to send humans back to the moon and the lunch astronots on Mars for the first time.
In response, NASA presented a draft to the Congress: The National Space Exploration Campaign, which calls for human and robotic exploration missions to expand the frontier of human experience and scientific discovery of the natural phenomena of earth, other worlds and cosmos, Agency said.
The campaign has five strategic goals: upset human-based low-Earth orbit, like the International Space Station, to more commercial operations; Use robotic missions to reveal resources on the moon; Driving surface operations in the moon; Return astronauts to the moon surface; And demonstrating what is necessary for human missions to Mars.
Over the past moon missions, astronauts spent only 16 days in six sites on the surface. NASA wants to return to London to make scientific discoveries, find resources and establish an off-earth presence for humans.
NASA has a plan for astronauts to orbit the moon in 2023 and return to the surface by the late 2020's using a lunar lander.
The Gateway, a Lunar orbit platform, will be the farthest humans ever lived from Earth. Some of the elements are now under construction on earth.
"On the Gateway, America and its partners will be prepared to pass deep space, testing new technologies and systems as we build the infrastructure to support missions to the surface of the moon and prepare for the epic mission to Mars," said the agency. "NASA will also study the effects of the Pacific Ocean's deep-seated environment, knowing how lively organisms react to the radiation and microgravity of a deep environment over a long period of time."
And of course, the Moon surface will be a kind of test space for human missions to Mars, much like the space station has established information about long-term human spacecraft.
Brentstein recently wanted to be living on Mars by the mid-2030s. Robotic exploration of Mars has been underway for years, with the insight mission landing on the surface this week and another rover landing planned for 2020.
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