NASA looks for payloads made for the moon

iSpace lander

An artist’s conception shows ispace’s lander descending to the lunar surface. (ispace Illustration)

NASA is following up on its plan to purchase rides on commercial lunar landers by soliciting ideas for the scientific and technological payloads to put on them.

Those payloads could be flying to the moon as early as next year, NASA said today in its announcement of a program known as Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads. Somewhere between $24 million and $36 million would be available for the first round of payloads, with eight to 12 payloads expected to be selected.

“We are looking for ways to not only conduct lunar science but to also use the moon as a science platform to look back at the Earth, observe the sun, or view the vast universe,” said Steve Clarke, deputy associate administrator for exploration in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Early science objectives could include monitoring heat flow within the moon’s interior, characterizing the solar wind and the vanishingly thin lunar atmosphere, and detecting and analyzing dust.

Technological payloads would take the form of instruments or systems that would facilitate future crewed and robotic missions to explore the moon and Mars, Clarke said.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, 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.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.