NASA will present the latest companies to build private landlords for trips to the moon today (November 18) and you can follow the announcement live on the Internet.
At 4:30 pm. EST (2030 GMT), NASA will announce the latest US companies to join the agency's lunar cargo trading project, or CLPS, for private landlords on the moon. The new companies will join a select pool of US firms competing for NASA landing experiments as part of the Artemis agency program, which aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
NASA will announce its announcement in a teleconference that you can follow us live on Space.com here, NASA's courtesy. You can watch the teleconference live on the NASA Web site.
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Today's announcement will be addressed by Steve Clarke, NASA's deputy associate research administrator. Joining him will be CLPS project manager Chris Coulbert of the nonson space center and representatives of newly selected companies.
Today's announcement follows NASA's choice of three companies – Astrobotics, intuitive machines and orbits above them – to build commercial robotic lunar landers for future missions. Since then, Orbit Beyond has dropped the program and NASA has opened a new phase of the CLPS project for companies.
In November 2018, NASA announced the selection of nine companies to join the CLPS pool. These companies, as well as those announced today, would bid for lunar landing contracts.
"In July, NASA announced the opportunity for US companies to join the CLPS agreement to deliver larger, heavier loads to the lunar surface," a NASA statement said. "Newly selected companies, along with the original nine selected in November 2018, will all be eligible to bid for future lunar delivery services, including heavy duty task orders, as well as integration and cargo operations."
"Investigations and demonstrations of CLPS flights will help NASA study the moon as it prepares to send the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface by 2024 through the Artemis Agency program, with possible human missions to Mars. "Agency officials added.