NASA seeks industry help for human lunar landers

An artist's illustration of a completed lunar Gateway flying around the Moon with a commercially-developed lunar lander. Image Credit NASA

As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on December 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface.

Such moon expeditions, Clarke said, will not only give NASA a chance to "learn our lessons" on a non-Earth body, but it is also far closer than Mars.

"For the moon, we'd like to return humans in the late 2020s", Clarke said. "I want to be clear - that is not our vision", said Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator. "That's the mandate we've been given by President Donald Trump and a supportive bipartisan Congress", he writes at Ozy.

Even before humans set foot back on the dusty lunar surface, Nasa has plenty of non-humanoid moon plans in the pipeline. We are going to the moon with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than we ever thought possible.

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He said: "That starts with the Gateway - a lunar orbiting outpost created to ensure the safe transit of astronauts to the lunar surface and back home again".

Bridenstine revealed the agency's goals for the near and distant futures, including getting astronauts back to the Moon and sending the first ones to Mars. The team plans on carrying out their first commercial lunar surface landing by the end of 2020. NASA has asked companies to research and come up with the flawless way to land humans on the Moon's surface as it wants to begin the development soon enough.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the moon in 1969.

Bridenstine says the reinvigorated mission will introduce the Moon to the more than two-thirds of Americans that were not alive for the iconic Apollo landing. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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