NASA looks to private companies for lunar missions


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Capitalism in space: NASA has issued a request for information on possible private commercial missions capable of carrying NASA payloads to the Moon.

From the announcement:

NASA has identified a variety of exploration, science, and technology demonstration objectives that could be addressed by sending instruments, experiments, or other payloads to the lunar surface. To address these objectives as cost-effectively as possible, NASA may procure payloads and related commercial payload delivery services to the Moon

In other words, NASA has money to spend on lunar science missions, and rather than plan those missions itself, as it has done since the 1960s, it is now offering to buy and launch proposals from private companies.

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2 comments

  • Joe

    Who you gonna call? Moon Busters!

  • “In other words, NASA has money to spend on lunar science missions, and rather than plan those missions itself, as it has done since the 1960s, it is now offering to buy and launch proposals from private companies.”

    Well, not exactly. NASA has been in pre-formulation for the past two years on a rover that would seek out resources on the moon. They’ve accomplished a number of milestones and partnered with Taiwan to build the landing vehicle.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/05/01/nasas-resource-prospector-rover-search-lunar-volatiles/

    The RFI appears to be an attempt to see if there are opportunities to fly on any of the Google Lunar X Prize launches that are scheduled for this year. Astrobotic has dropped out of competition but are still planning to land on the moon in some future year.

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