NASA picks nine teams for moon deliveries

Lockheed Martin lunar lander
Lockheed Martin is offering its McCandless lunar lander, shown here with an onboard rover in an artist’s conception, for future NASA missions to the moon. (Lockheed Martin Illustration)

NASA says it’s partnering on lunar delivery services with nine commercial teams, headed by companies that run the gamut from the space industry’s heavyweights to startups.

The lineup, announced today by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the space agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., will take part in a program known as Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS.

The program is aimed at boosting the development of lunar landing services for NASA and commercial payloads, starting with shipments weighing at least 22 pounds (10 kilograms).

Up to $2.6 billion in delivery contracts will be meted out over the next 10 years, NASA said in a news release.

“Welcome to the competition,” Bridenstine said.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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