WASHINGTON – NASA announced on November 18 that it had added five companies to a contract to build its commercial cargo on the moon surface, a group ranging from small initiatives to Blue Origin and SpaceX.
NASA said five companies – Blue Origin, Ceres Robotics, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), SpaceX and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems – were selected to join nine companies with commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts. All 14 companies are now entitled to bid for future duty orders to deliver cargo to the lunar surface.
This “ramp yönelik for CLPS has been specifically designed to attract companies capable of transporting heavy loads to the surface of the moon. This is a rover officer NASA plans to fly in 2022 to search for evidence of water ice at the south pole of the moon, including NASA's Flying Researcher Polar Discovery Explorer (VIPER) mission.
“We actually wanted to do this a little later, but we found that we needed to speed it up,’ said Steve Clarke, deputy director for research at NASA's scientific committee. He said that large lands can provide the tools needed by astronauts before landing missions, as well as providing science burdens.
The biggest landowner to date for new entrants comes from SpaceX, which offers the Starship reusable launch vehicle. Gwynne Shotwell, president and general manager of SpaceX, said Starhip could deliver up to 100 metric tons of cargo to the lunar surface and return an unspecified amount back to Earth.
Uz We think this is a really clean program. Referring to NASA's Commercial Orbital Transport Services efforts, which financed the development of NASA's SpaceX commercial cargo capacity, Shotwell reminds us a little of the COTS program.
Shotwell said Starship moon landing missions could begin in 2022. He said that such missions could only be cargo, but he could then serve as a “nice stepping stone ere to the assigned missions. The crew did not give a date for their missions, but said that SpaceX would "fly" the Starship before doing any missions with the people on board.
Blue Origin will present NASA the Blue Moon landowner in May, which they can carry a few tons of cargo to the moon surface. Var There's a lot of load capacity, the power to spend the moon's night, a very large, open cargo deck, Brent said Brent Sherwood, vice president of advanced development programs at Blue Origin. He then refused, saying when the landlord would be ready for CLPS tasks and would depend on the characteristics of each CLPS assignment scheme.
NASA added smaller landowners to the CLPS agreement. Imiz Our company is in a perfect position to bid for smaller loads going to the Moon just because we've built our own satellite systems, John said John Roth, vice president of business development at SNC. Roth said the company could take on larger loads using technologies developed for the Dream Chaser tool, but it didn't explain how big the company could bear. SNC said it could start lunar lander missions in 2022.
Michael Sims, CEO of Ceres Robotics, said his company's CLPS award was a sign of small companies as it played a role in NASA's wider plans. “Space research, and especially multilingual people, requires the entire ecosystem of companies,” he said. “The little player is agility and creativity that contributes to the mix,” he said. He said his company's territory should be ready for missions starting in 2023.
Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems is known as a small manufacturer. Marco Villa, chief operating officer of the company, said Tyvak will use this experience on the moon's territory. Iz We'll start with something smaller, ”he said. Imiz Our flexibility and our ability to upgrade will lead to more complex tasks in the near future, ”he said. He refused to say when his company's territory would be ready.
Five companies selected from eight people bidding on this ramp joined NASA's nine CLPS companies a year ago: Astrobotic, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Firefly Aviation, Intuitive Machines, Lockheed Martin, Masten Space Systems, Moon Express and OrbitBeyond . In May, NASA ordered Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines, and OrbitBeyond on field missions for months, but OrbitBeyond canceled the mission two months later and voiced internal issues.
Clarke said that NASA has developed a new task order company that CLPS companies will offer, which should be released “after a while for the VIPER rover”. The agency is working on a call to propose that science tools fly to these missions each year to deliver two “burdens ine to the lunar surface.