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NASA wants to begin the development of land to take people to the moon



After more than a year of talks on returning people to the Moon, NASA wants the aerospace community to think about bundle projects that can transport astronauts to the moon's surface. NASA's goal is to test these vehicles on the Moon as early as 2024 and then use them to take people to the lunar surface by 2028.

NASA Administrator Jim Brindstedin and other senior officials of the agency outlined the plan during a roundtable today in Washington. While Bridenstine points to the idea that NASA will return to the moon to stay that way, he also noted that the agency made speed a priority in returning to the moon surface. "One of the things that I think is important is once again to want this opportunity to be re-used, we want this sustainability, but we also want to go fast," Bridentalna said during the conversation. "It is important to return to the moon as quickly as possible."

In December 201

7, President Trump signed a directive known as the SPD. -1, which led NASA to bring people back to the moon to stay, but progress towards that goal is gradual. Now NASA wants to step on the gas. This desire for speed is reflected in how quickly the agency plans to make a selection of land designs. In March, NASA will file a formal request to the land offer companies to award and strengthen the contracts between May and July. Each individual contract will cost between $ 300,000 and $ 9 million. Bridenstine said NASA is open to both commercial companies (such as Lockheed Martin, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Boeing) and international agencies that send ideas.


All the vehicles NASA wants to use to return to the moon. Meanwhile, NASA is trying to speed up another program aimed at sending small robot devices to the Moon, known as CLPS. This program, detailed in November, has commissioned nine companies to develop small autonomous landings that can carry scientific loads on the moon. Through this program, NASA will present details of the tools it wants to send to the lunar surface, and the nine companies will compete to transport this hardware with their bundles. NASA plans to release details of the first batch of 12 instruments next week.

Future NASA researchers could use the water that is on the moon's surface to drink and grow vegetation. or they could tear it off to make rocket fuel. As these capabilities are so critical, NASA wants the CLPS program to begin as soon as possible in the hope that one of the companies can take a payload to the Moon by the end of 2019. "We told everyone in our catalog, we will stimulate speed, financially, "said Thomas Zurbuhen, Associate Administrator, NASA's Science Mission, at the conference.

Despite this new need for speed, NASA is slowly inventing the overall strategy for the return of the moon. Over the past few years, the agency has outlined a multifaceted strategy for bringing people to the moon's surface. The plan implies the construction of a new space station in the orbit of the moon, called Gateway. This station is destined to last for 15 years in space and will serve as a habitat where astronauts could live and train. From the gate, the astronauts will board the ground to the surface where they will be able to explore and take samples before returning to the station.

NASA expects they will need a number of spacecraft to take people to and from the gate. They include a spacecraft to travel from the station to a lower lunar orbit, a vehicle to descend to the surface, and one to bring people back to the gate. NASA claims it is open to other ways to attract people to the moon's surface. One remarkable option is the future SpaceX rocket, which, when completed, can potentially fire Earth and Earth people directly onto the moon's surface, bypassing the Gate. However, NASA says that it is currently seeking transfer boat projects described in the latest application.


An art rendering of a human moon dream that Lockheed Martin wants to develop. Lockheed Martin
Even with this whole focus on speed, the current schedule does not see people returning to the moon for nearly a decade. This schedule was heavily criticized, especially by the country's best space advisers. The members of the Consumers Consultative Group of the National Space Council, which advises government officials and legislators on how to define the space policy program, say NASA is moving too slowly and that 2028 is too far away. Part of the detention is due to the fact that much of the moon return architecture relies on two NASA vehicles that have remained in development for the last decade: a massive rocket called the Space Launch System and a crew capsule called Orion. NASA plans to use these vehicles to build portions of the gate and transport people to and from the new station. However, SLS has not yet arrived – the first demonstration mission planned for 2020 – both programs have suffered numerous failures and graphics delays, making the future Gateway timeline unclear.

However, some positive progress has been made in the development of the gate. NASA received design proposals from the private industry for the first element in the gate, a module that will provide power to the station and drive the vehicle through space. William Gerstenmeyer, administrator of NASA's space flight program, said NASA will choose who will build this module very soon. In addition, many private companies are developing deep space hub modules through the NASA NexSTEP program, which can be used to accommodate NASA astronauts in the Portal. "There is a real deal ahead of the slug," said Gerstenmayer.

Slow but sure, this plan is united, even though NASA is trying to make it a bit faster.


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