Japanese startup among firms chosen for NASA's moon delivery bid

Japanese startup among firms chosen for NASA's moon delivery bid

Japanese startup among firms chosen for NASA's moon delivery bid

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters on Thursday that Elon Musk's smoking weed live on the internet "did not inspire confidence", The Atlantic reported.

In this approach, NASA would just be one of many customers, Bridenstine said.

He hit back at claims the United States has promised to go back to the moon before.

Mr Bridenstine said Nasa will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting there.

On Dec. 11, 2017, President Trump signed the new policy directive, officially making a return to the moon the near-term goal of America's human space program. Those involved with CLPS underlined the spirit of cooperation required for complex programs such as this one to be successful. The CLPS contracts have a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years, so companies are eager to win them. NASA will consider competitive bids based on technical innovation, feasibility, price, and schedule, for missions as early as next year. Some companies noted after the event that the awards will help them raise money from investors by demonstrating that they have a real, and potentially lucrative, customer for their vehicles. NASA wants to return to the moon to make scientific discoveries, find resources and establish an off-Earth presence for humans.

And if it is a success, CLPS could go a long way toward achieving that "sustainable" return to the moon that has been NASA's mantra since the signing of Space Policy Directive 1 almost a year ago.

The CLPS announcement comes as NASA conducts safety reviews of two of its major private partners, SpaceX and Boeing.

"This is a response to the science community, who has for a long time decided that we needed to do science on the surface of the moon", Bridenstine said. NASA intends the partnerships to enable regular shipments of instruments, experiments, and small payloads to the moon sooner and faster, cover more lunar regions, and maximize efficiency when humans eventually arrive. Astrobotic, Moon Express, Masten Space Systems, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Firefly Aerospace, Intuitive Machines, and Orbit Beyond have all been picked to provide services to NASA on future lunar missions. The company was part of the Apollo moon missions that began in the '60s.

NASA already is utilizing the private sector on a commercial basis. NASA is now working with commercial partners to carry astronauts to and from the space station.

He said the organization was struggling with financial burdens but there was a clear five-year plan that would lead to a new age of space technology. The agency is now working with commercial partners in an effort to produce a lunar transport "market" one created to further enable scientific exploration of our closest celestial neighbor.

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