NASA seeks industry help for human lunar landers

An artist's illustration of a completed lunar Gateway flying around the Moon with a commercially-developed lunar lander. Image Credit NASA

An artist's illustration of a completed lunar Gateway flying around the Moon with a commercially-developed lunar lander. Image Credit NASA

The space agency has been talking up its plans to create a lunar base on our celestial neighbour that astronauts will use as a gateway to the rest of the solar system.

Bridenstine had previously called for "the best and brightest of American industry to help design and develop human lunar landers" in response to what he says is a clear mandate from Donald Trump and Congress to once again get astronauts out of Earth's orbit.

The President's direction from Space Policy Directive-1 galvanizes NASA's return to the Moon and builds on progress on the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, efforts with commercial and global partners, and knowledge gained from current robotic presence at the Moon and Mars. Private sector innovation is key to these NASA missions, and the NextSTEP public-private partnership model is advancing capabilities for human spaceflight while stimulating commercial activities in space. "This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay", he added. The team plans on carrying out their first commercial lunar surface landing by the end of 2020.

General Motors and Amazon may back electric truck startup Rivian, report says
That in itself is reason enough for optimism about the inevitability of the electric transportation revolution. GM, Amazon and Rivian have yet to confirm the talks, even as the idea found support in Wall Street.

"Extraordinary as they were, for many the lunar expeditions are facts from history books or stories told by older relatives". With the Gateway up and running NASA envisions travel to the Moon becoming much easier, with astronauts harvesting material from the lunar surface to make rocket fuel: Using the Gateway to land astronauts on the Moon allows the first building blocks for fully reusable lunar landers.

Looks inviting, doesn't it? "The objective of the mission is to carry the crew to the Moon", while the mission plan for 2031 is related to "the cosmonauts' activities on the Moon" and performing tasks set by the Russian Academy of Sciences. We are going to the moon with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than we ever thought possible.

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