NASA wants these private companies to help it get to the moon

"We have been maturing our lander technology over the last 10 years in preparation for this day", Matthew Kuhns chief engineer with Masten Space Systems and SpaceFlight Insider contributor said when asked what this means for Masten.

NASA already is utilizing the private sector on a commercial basis.

Perhaps surprisingly absent are Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' company Blue Horizon.

A replica of the Mars InSight lander at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, showing instruments used to study the planet. This means it's created to heave a payload of more than 55 tons (roughly the mass of a battle tank) into. "We've had a number of conversations..." What that tells us is, science and human exploration go together. This rocket is expected to stand about 322 feet tall and be able to lift about 70 tons of spacecraft hardware and supplies into orbit.

"We're no stranger to commercial space business models, having built more than 100 commercial satellites and launched numerous Atlas and Titan commercial payloads", said Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager for Commercial Civil Space at Lockheed Martin.

Most of the nine companies approved for bidding say they will not be ready to begin operations until at least 2021. Deep Space Systems, which has worked on Orion, Juno, and other NASA missions is also in the mix.

The agency hopes that this new program will help bring the US back to the surface of the moon. NASA expects to be one of many patrons using the services. Here, the spaceship is shown detaching from the booster.

NASA had previously manifested a launch by SpaceX to demonstrate the crew version of its Dragon spacecraft on an uncrewed jaunt to the ISS for 7 January.

Image of Mars captured by In Sight on November 30
Image of Mars captured by In Sight on November 30

While NASA's commercial partners remain firmly on the ground, with their workplaces under review by a nervous agency, Russian Federation has no such worries.

NASA adminstrator Jim Bridenstine took to the stage in the James Webb auditorium at NASA's Headquarters to announce the companies it planned to use to send payloads to the moon.

It remains to be seen how the space agency would react to such a feat, which is essentially a creative reprise of the.

"At the end of the decade, we envision a continuous presence of landers, rovers, and robots on the surface of the moon, but not necessarily humans", he added.

Eminent economist Walter Block recently published a book titled Space Capitalism: How Humans Will Colonize Planets, Moons, and Asteroids.

Bridenstine highlighted that the plan behind the lunar payload program is to start small, with scientific experiment cargo before eventually working up to manned missions. "My guess is that it's coming".

Instead of running a government-funded space program, like Apollo, the United States space agency will buy services, essentially becoming a customer to private businesses that build their own spacecraft.

He added that he was the one who called for the safety review, announced November 20, of the two companies tasked with building the spacecraft that will enable Americans once again to send people to space - a capacity the USA lost in 2011 with the retirement of the space shuttle program.

Vanessa Coleman

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