NASA Chief Scolded Musk Over Pot Smoking

NASA looks to outsource Moon delivery services

"Working with U.S. companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the moon and Mars", NASA said in a. The CLPS contracts have a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years, so companies are eager to win them. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman, formerly Orbital ATK, have built space station shipments since 2012.

Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of when U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. But Business Insider has learned that Thursday's announcement is tied to a more imminent effort to explore the moon and, by extension, support NASA's larger goals with its gateway. It is still unknown what instruments or experiments will fly on the first CLPS missions.

Essentially, NASA's new Moon strategy will involve using private companies to build the stuff they send their experiments to the Moon on. "Let's not do it alone", Deputy Director for NASA Langley Research Center Deborah Tomek said. "We want to assure payload customers who select Lockheed Martin can be confident that we'll deliver on-time and on-budget".

If more hiccups come with the program, NASA may be watching SpaceX beat the agency to the moon with a crewed mission.

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Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, said NASA will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting to the moon.

"We are excited to partner with these incredible companies at the dawn of a new era of lunar and solar system exploration", stated Moon Express founder & CEO, Bob Richards.

Bridenstine confirmed he ordered safety reviews of SpaceX and Boeing, another NASA contractor, after Musk smoked on the podcast, but he said that was always the plan.

According to Bridenstine, the new partners will compete to provide the best prices and innovations, creating a marketplace for transportation to and from the moon.

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Draper has been involved in the space program since the early days, McDowell said, and is a "very well-established company with a strong engineering reputation". We saw, earlier this week, their InSight probe land on the surface of Mars and just yesterday, reports were made from a senior administrator that some big "Moon" news was on the way. This rocket is expected to stand about 322 feet tall and be able to lift about 70 tons of spacecraft hardware and supplies into orbit. Although not tied to the aerospace giant's human-rated spacecraft, the company noted its experience with developing vehicles similar to this new lander.

Moon Express: A Cape Canaveral-based company dedicated to expanding commercial opportunities in general on the Moon.

Nasa along with Musk's SpaceX and Boeing is developing transportation systems that would allow the United States to fly astronauts from American soil for the first time since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.

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