NASA’s Plans For The New Moon Landing Missions Are Advancing

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Earlier this year, the Trump administration ordered NASA to start working on all the equipment necessary for returning man to the moon by 2024. Since then, the space agency has been planning new developments and seeking out help from other space agencies in order to be able to finish preparations in time.

Recently, NASA has revealed three lunar landers that will serve as transporters for NASA science payloads to the Moon. The three systems are developed by several providers, like Astrobotic Technology, Intuitive Machines and Orbit Beyond.

All of these are controlled by the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program and they were chosen through a competition in November 2018, among nine American companies.

NASA’s Plans For The New Moon Landing Missions Are Advancing

Here are all of the proposals from the service providers:

  • Astrobotic Technology: flying a total of 14 payloads to Lacus Mortis, a big crater located on the near side of the moon, by mid-2021.
  • Intuitive Machines: flying five payloads to Oceanus Procellarum, a dark area on the moon, by mid-2021.
  • Orbit Beyond: flying four payloads to Mare Imbrium, a region covered in lava in a crater on the moon, by September 2020.

By the end of August of this year, NASA will decide which payloads will fly on each mission. According to a statement given by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, these three landers mark the beginning of commercial collaborations that will bring humanity closer to solving the mysteries of the moon, our solar system and more.

Even more, last month, on May 16, the space agency selected 11 private companies that will research and develop prototypes of human landers that will take American astronauts, including the first woman to set foot on the moon, on the lunar south pole by 2024.


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