Nasa turns to private sector for next moon mission

Greg Lawrence
December 2, 2018

Nasa along with Musk's SpaceX and Boeing is developing transportation systems that would allow the United States to fly astronauts from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.

CLPS stands for Commercial Lunar Payload Services.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Thursday that nine U.S. companies will compete in delivering experiments to the lunar surface.

"The Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts with a combined maximum contract value of $2.6 billion during the next 10 years", said a NASA statement.

"The relatively small and cheap payloads delivered via the CLPS program would be followed by more traditional medium- and large-class missions", said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. This space program is a private-public undertaking to develop a technology which will explore the lunar eclipse.

Bridenstine confirmed he has ordered a safety review of NASA's contractors SpaceX and Boeing after Musk smoked, but said that was always the plan.

NASA is pursuing dual projects of building a lunar orbital platform and returning astronauts to the moon in the mid-2020s - all of these missions are aimed towards eventually sending humans to Mars.

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Lunar payloads could fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019.

The National Space Exploration Campaign calls for human and robotic exploration missions to go beyond the frontiers of human experience and scientific discovery of the natural phenomena of Earth, other worlds, and the cosmos.

Earlier media reported that Russian cosmonauts for the first time should attend the surface of the moon after 2030, their mission will last 14 days.

According to recent reports, Russia plans to establish a moon colony by 2040, the Russian federal space agency announced on Wednesday.

"At the Council of RAS on space today discussed the complex concept of a common program of research and exploration of the moon, a sequence of automatic devices "Moon-25", "Luna-26", "Luna-27" - to the manned program, then the unfolding of the stations on the moon, observatories".

NASA boss Jim Bridenstine has told reporters that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoking week on a podcast "was not appropriate behavior".

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