Draper Tapped For NASA's 'Space Race' To Go Back To The Moon

Clark Diaz
December 2, 2018

"This is part of the president's Space Policy Directive 1, where he directed me, as the NASA administrator, to go to the moon and to go with commercial partners".

"Lunar payloads could fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019", NASA said in an earlier news release.

NASA hasn't landed anything on the moon, the final mission of the agency's crewed lunar exploration program.

Scientists at NASA have a new goal, and it's out of this world. "We're gonna buy the service", he cheered.

However, according to NASA's plans, by 2040, the USA space agency would already have put humans on Mars, so Russian Federation is falling behind, to some extent.

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Draper will lead a team, including three other companies, to design, manufacture and launch a lunar lander - dubbed "Artemis-7" - to the moon.

The companies selected range from a major aerospace corporation, Lockheed Martin, to little-known startups, and from companies that were longtime competitors in the now-expired Google Lunar X Prize for commercial lunar landers to those that had not previously publicly expressed plans for such landers. The company now subcontracts with other major contractors in the field of space exploration such as Lockheed Martin and NASA.

NASA's objective is encouraging competition among the private companies in order to set up an orbiting outpost near the moon as fast as possible.

"The lunar program will be implemented in several stages by 2040", Roscosmos said. (Proposals for instruments and technologies to study the moon are due in January.) They include payload integration and operations, and launching from Earth and landing on the moon. Their priority is providing low-cost rocket access to low Earth orbit (LEO).

Intuitive Machines, based in the state of Texas, specializes in autonomous systems.

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A Cambridge-based nonprofit that created the navigation system for Apollo is competing with private companies across the country to be the next American entity to land on the moon.

NASANASA plans to return to the moon with American companies.

NASA also announced that the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program will be driven by the agency's Science Mission Directorate.

The head of NASA is so unhappy with SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk smoking marijuana and drinking whiskey during a podcast that he warned him it could jeopardize the company's billion-dollar business dealings with the government. The new commercial partners will compete for the opportunity to ferry those experiments to and from the moon.

"How do we share those [resources] with these private companies?" The objective is to help overall comprehension of the challenges involved in making significant progress in space exploration and propose viable policy solutions.

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Of the group, the only well-known name is aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, which has a long track record of success with NASA and built the InSight lander that touched down Monday on Mars.

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