The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Thursday that Draper and eight other USA companies, ranging from tiny startups to defense giant Lockheed Martin, will compete for $2.6 billion in NASA contracts.
"When we go to the Moon, we want to be one customer of many customers in a robust marketplace between the Earth and the Moon", Mr Bridenstine said. For now, these names will compete for contracts totaling roughly $2.6 billion over a ten-year span, which is a lot cheaper than if NASA went to space alone. Before offering contracts, the space agency will evaluate bids for cost and technical feasibility. These missions could begin as early as 2019.
Including partners in their moon plans will allow NASA to launch more frequent, cost-effective trips to the moon, which means that more frequent experiments will be able to land, Bridenstine said.
When asked by The Atlantic about NASA's relationship with Musk, Bridenstine said that he had personally talked with Musk.
Rogozin informed that the firm was struggling with financial burdens, but there was a clear five-year plan that would lead to a new age of space technology, reported The Sun.
The vehicle had been in development for about a decade to explore a polar region of the Moon.
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Earlier this year, NASA awarded Astrobotic a $10 million grant to create a precision landing system for their spacecraft, Peregrine. The space agency will buy the service and let the private industry work out the details on getting there, according to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for the science directorate, said there were already many experiments that scientists know they want to send to the moon.
Now Bridenstine has commented publicly on the incident for the first time.
And of course, the moon's surface will be a kind of test site for human missions to Mars, much like the space station has established information about long-term human spaceflight.
SpaceX and Boeing are developing spaceships with NASA that will carry US astronauts into space for the first time since the last space shuttle flight in 2011. NASA is now working with commercial partners to carry astronauts to and from the space station.
These Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts are initial steps toward continuous sustainable scientific study and human exploration on the moon, eventually Mars, and beyond.