Top NASA Executive Who Handles 2024 Moon Landing Mission Resigns

Pablo Tucker
June 1, 2019

Indeed, NASA has just chosen its first three commercial partners for the "Artemis" Moon return program. They say they will send their landers to the moon in 2020 and 2021.

Return to the Moon, a Curiosity Stream original, honors the legacy of the incredible feat on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon.

NASA awarded the companies $77-97 million each for development of their landers.

The most recent initiative was dubbed Artemis, after the goddess of the hunt and the moon in Greek mythology and the dual sister of Apollo. Intuitive Machines has proposed up to five payload deliveries to a lunar dark spot called Oceanus Procellarum by the same date.

It has made a decision to use a SpaceX Falcon 9 for launch, as has Intuitive Machines.

"The lunar market is going to grow exponentially in the next 10 years, and with (lower costs) there will be a lot of investment for creating in-space infrastructure, to create new markets utilizing space resources", said Siba Padhi, president and CEO of Orbit Beyond. Living Universe, Space Probes, Lunar Rover, The Apollo Moon Landings and Mystery Signals from Space are also on the New Moon Mondays lineup.

Astrobiotic will be receiving $79.5 million in funding from NASA, and they intend to fly "as many as 14 payloads" to Lacus Mortis by July 2021, which is a large crater on the "near side" of the Moon.

After this, NASA hopes to prepare astronauts for a mission to Mars. 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 United States flag.

The three commercial companies selected by NASA for its lunar payload missions are Astrobotic in Pittsburgh, Intuitive Machines in Houston, and Orbit Beyond in New Jersey.

Each company will provide payload integration and operations, launch from Earth and landing on the surface of the moon.

"We want to not only go there, but to grow an industry", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's science mission directorate.

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