"From there we want reusable landers that go back and forth to the surface of the moon".
The program is part of the agency's effort to work with commercial aerospace firms.
Nine selected companies are now eligible to bid on contracts that will deliver services to the moon. Maintaining a permanent human presence in lunar orbit will require a lot of support services that NASA can't handle on its own.
NASA wants to see how it goes at the moon before committing to commercial delivery services at Mars. "It is about a colony on the surface of the moon".
In 2017, President Donald Trump announced the United States would once again send people to the lunar surface, as a step on the path to shipping people to Mars by the 2030s.
Two of the companies are based in Littleton: Deep Space Systems and Lockheed Martin. Some of these have already made successful voyages to the Moon and Mars. "We want to do it far more with commercial and worldwide partners than we can do on our own".
Lockheed Martin's McCandless Lunar Lander. But a lunar land feud may be looming. In 2017, Moon Express introduced its MX family of modular, scalable robotic exploration vehicles created to collapse the cost of access to the Moon and other deep space destinations.
"There isn't a direct connection to Orion, but this offering does pull from our planetary heritage overall". Finally, the third phase would involve the completion of the Russian lunar base's construction by 2040 when Russia plans to establish the Moon colony.
Prior to the announcement, Bridenstine spoke on The Hill TV's "Rising" program, emphasizing the goal of the Space Policy Directive's mission to build the capabilities of not only returning to the Moon, but stay as a sustained presence.
NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II performs extra-vehicular activity with a Manned Maneuvering Unit during the STS-41-B mission, February 1984. McCandless was the first person to conduct an untethered spacewalk (on STS-41B). Now Draper is in a new, homegrown space race to deliver unmanned craft to the lunar surface. The company will provide any number of contributions towards NASA's mission to the Moon.
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. SpaceX and Northrup Grumman are building and launching cargo ships to the International Space Station under commercial contracts that allow NASA to essentially purchase a given launch service rather than designing, developing and operating the vehicles in house.
NASA hopes that the first payloads flown under CLPS could be on their way as early as next year (2019).
Moon Express, Inc.is a privately funded US commercial space company founded in 2010 with the goal of providing low cost, frequent access to the Moon for science, exploration and commerce while seeking new resources to benefit Earth.
NASA has contracts with both Boeing and SpaceX.