NASA contracts with three commercial outfits to carry payloads to lunar surface

by | Jun 4, 2019 | commercial launch services, exploration, Launches, NASA, Satellites, Science, Seradata News

Space News reports that on 31 May 2019, NASA awarded lunar landing contracts initially to three companies out of the nine finalists in the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS).  The three winners of the contracts worth a total of US$250 million will make one landing each to carry a total of 23 payloads to the lunar surface.

Notional commercial lunar lander. Courtesy: NASA

These firms’ landing missions include:

OrbitBeyond  which plans to launch its Z-01 lander on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in September 2020 to land on the Mare Imbrium on the lunar surface. It will carry four payloads under its US$97 million NASA CLPS contract and who was originally developing a lander in conjunction with Team Indus’s failed attempt to win the Lunar X-Prize..

Astrobotic, under its US$79.5 million NASA CLPS contract will send 14 payloads to the lunar surface via its Peregrine lander in June 2021. The plan is to land in the lunar crater Lacus Mortis during the following month. This was originally due to fly as a co-payload on an Atlas V launch however, the indications are that this may change..

Intuitive Machines will launch its Nova-C lander on a Falcon 9 in July 2021 under its NASA CLPS contract worth US$77 million to carry up to four payloads to either the Oceanus Procellarum or Mare Serenitatis.

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