NASA unveils 3 commercial lunar landers to bring payloads to Moon

Katie Ramirez
June 2, 2019

With a $1.6 billion supplemental budget request from the Trump administration, NASA is accelerating plans to land astronauts on the moon, moving up the target date from 2028 to 2024.

"NASA has selected three commercial Moon landing service providers that will deliver science and technology payloads under Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) as part of the Artemis program', NASA's official website said on Friday". But for those times when you're not procrastinating at work, the set also serves as a desk-friendly collectible allowing you to perch and display the lunar lander on an included replica of the moon's surface - complete with craters, footprints, and a USA flag. In March, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech announcing the United States' determination to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024-giving NASA five years to do a second time what it took eight years to do the first time.

Intuitive Machines of Houston will receive $77 million to develop a lander that also will touch down in July 2021, carrying as many as five payloads to Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, and launching atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA is shooting for the moon: Today, the agency is unveiling its first batch of commercial companies to deliver science experiments to the lunar surface, and you can livestream this major Artemis lunar landing program update on YouTube.

It has given three companies the okay to head to space as well.

Astrobotic, a Pittsburgh-based company that has been awarded $79.5 million.

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The Lego Creator Expert NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander model, developed in cooperation with NASA, consists of an ascent stage with a detailed interior, plus a descent stage with a ladder and hatches that open.

Land on a Lego moon. "Investing in these commercial landing services also is another strong step to build a commercial space economy beyond low-Earth orbit", Bridenstine stated. Intuitive Machines has Boeing as a strategic partner for its lunar lander program.

The aerospace company proposed to fly the 14 payloads to a large crater on the near side of the moon.

The advanced LEGO set features a detailed replica of the Eagle lunar lander with separate ascent and descent stages, plus a depiction of the lunar surface with crater, footprints and a USA flag, Apollo 11 Lunar lander nameplate and golden elements. Astrobotic's executives said they are still evaluating launch providers.

Two of the selected companies are planning to launch their missions two years from now.

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