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NASA puts out call for lunar experiments

Image: Moon Express lander
An artist’s conception shows a Moon Express lander in lunar orbit. (Credit: Moon Express)

NASA wants suggestions for experiments that can be sent to the moon on commercial spacecraft – and Moon Express, one of the companies building those spacecraft, wants to kick in up to $500,000 per experiment.

The experiments would be aimed at filling the “strategic knowledge gaps” for lunar exploration, NASA said in today’s request for information, which was timed to coincide with this week’s meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group in Columbia, Md.

The time frame for the proposed experiments – in the range of 2017 to 2020 – seems tailor-made for Moon Express, which is one of several teams going after the top award in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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