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Topic: NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services

NASA’s VIPER rover to use ramps to drive off Moon Lander

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – When NASA’s water-hunting robot – the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER – arrives on the lunar surface, it will use two folding ramps to drive off the lander in style and begin exploring the Moon. To make sure its big moment goes off without a hitch, the VIPER team recently tested those ramps at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas.

Using a full-scale model of the Griffin lander that will deliver VIPER to the Moon, the team evaluated how well a rover test unit was able to move on the ramps.

NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration (VIPER) Rover demonstrates driving off the lander to the moon's surface using ramps. (NASA/Johnson Space Center/James Blair)

NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration (VIPER) Rover demonstrates driving off the lander to the moon’s surface using ramps. (NASA/Johnson Space Center/James Blair)

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NASA picks first Science Payloads to be landed on the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – As NASA continues plans for multiple commercial deliveries to the Moon’s surface per year, the agency has selected three new scientific investigation payload suites to advance understanding of Earth’s nearest neighbor.

Two of the payload suites will land on the far side of the Moon, a first for NASA. All three investigations will receive rides to the lunar surface as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, initiative, part of the agency’s Artemis approach.

NASA Selects New Science Investigations for Future Moon Deliveries. (NASA)

NASA Selects New Science Investigations for Future Moon Deliveries. (NASA)

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NASA announces Firefly Aerospace selected for Artemis Commercial Moon Delivery in 2023

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has awarded Firefly Aerospace of Cedar Park, Texas, approximately $93.3 million to deliver a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon in 2023.

The delivery, planned for Mare Crisium, a low-lying basin on the Moon’s near side, will investigate a variety of lunar surface conditions and resources. Such investigations will help prepare for human missions to the lunar surface.

Illustration of Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost lander on the lunar surface. The lander will carry a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon in 2023 as part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. (Firefly Aerospace)

Illustration of Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost lander on the lunar surface. The lander will carry a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon in 2023 as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. (Firefly Aerospace)

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NASA taps Commercial Lunar Payload Services partners to deliver Payloads to the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has issued another request to its 14 Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) partners to bid on flying a suite of payloads to the Moon. The request asks partners to fly 10 NASA science investigations and technology demonstrations to a non-polar region of the Moon in 2023.

Through the CLPS initiative, NASA taps its commercial partners to quickly land scientific instruments and technology demonstrations on the Moon. The initiative is a key part of NASA’s Artemis program. The science and technology payloads will help lay the foundation for human missions to the lunar surface. A provider will be selected by the end of the year, making it the sixth surface task award.

NASA Enlists Commercial Partners to Fly Payloads to the Moon in 2023. (NASA)

NASA Enlists Commercial Partners to Fly Payloads to the Moon in 2023. (NASA)

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NASA Scientist explores growing Food on the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – While others have perfected sourdough starter or whipped up chocolate chip cookies during the pandemic, NASA scientist Max Coleman has been toiling in his kitchen over containers of baby radishes – all in the name of science.

Why radishes?

“They have been used before in space, and they germinate very, very fast,” Coleman says.

Radishes in the section with the least water germinated first and best. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Radishes in the section with the least water germinated first and best. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Grants Contract to Deliver Science, Tech to Moon Ahead of Human Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California, to deliver and operate eight payloads – with nine science and technology instruments – to the Moon’s South Pole in 2022, to help lay the foundation for human expeditions to the lunar surface beginning in 2024.

The payloads, which include instruments to assess the composition of the lunar surface, test precision landing technologies, and evaluate the radiation on the Moon, are being delivered under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative as part of the agency’s Artemis program.

Masten’s XL-1 lunar lander will deliver science and technology payloads to the Moon’s South Pole in 2022. (Masten Space Systems)

Masten’s XL-1 lunar lander will deliver science and technology payloads to the Moon’s South Pole in 2022. (Masten Space Systems)

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NASA develops concept for Mid-Sized Robotic Lander for the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – As NASA presses forward with the agency’s mission to the Moon, Mars and beyond, the development of top-tier technology is critical to success. With emphasis on lunar exploration and scientific investigation, the desire to deliver a wide variety of payloads to the Moon has increased.

For NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative — which is leading the effort — this is no new concept. NASA has already awarded commercial contracts for payload delivery to the lunar surface, and expects to establish additional partnerships to support upcoming lunar ventures.

Illustration shows the mid-sized lander on the lunar surface. (NASA)

Illustration shows the mid-sized lander on the lunar surface. (NASA)

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NASA ready to take on Challenges of going back to the Moon

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says space exploration brings humanity some of its greatest challenges and opportunities. We faced this hard fact on April 11th when the Beresheet spacecraft developed by Israel’s SpaceIL failed to successfully land on the Moon’s surface.

While the Beresheet spacecraft can claim many accomplishments, including being the first privately funded lunar spacecraft, we can learn many things from its failures. These are lessons we, too, must consider as NASA tries to conquer similar challenges as we move forward to the Moon with commercial and international partners.

NASA will send landers and robots to the Moon before sending Astronauts to explore. (NASA)

NASA will send landers and robots to the Moon before sending Astronauts to explore. (NASA)

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