The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)has selected the first three private firmsnamely Astrobotic, Orbit Beyond,and Intuitive Machinesto deliver technical assistance payloads. The decision has been made under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS)as part of its Artemis program which will pave the way for astronauts’ lunar return in 2024.
As per the announcement made by NASA, each company will be responsible for carrying NASA-provided payloads, which will be needed to undergo scientific investigations and demonstrate tech on the lunar surface.Overall, NASA will spend $253 million for the respective missions of the three companies.
“Our choice of these U.S. commercial landing service providers can be regarded as the return of the US to the Moon’s surface for the first time in decades, and it’s a huge step forward for our Artemis lunar exploration plans,” said Jim Bridenstine,NASA Administrator.
Each lander offered flying certain instruments. The gear that will be sent by the companies will help toassess lander impact on the Moon, predict lander positions, measure lunar radiation, and assist with navigation. The companies have promised to provide commercial payload delivery services throughout the mission including payload integration and operations and launch and landing.
It is indeed a huge achievement for companies to begin a commercial partnership with NASA that will bring them closer to the biggest space agency andtogether, they will unfurl many mysteries of space.