First Commercial Moon Delivery Assignments to Advance Artemis

First Commercial Moon Delivery Assignments to Advance Artemis

NASA has finalized the primary 16 science experiments and technology demonstrations, starting from chemistry to communications, to be delivered to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program. Scheduled to fly next year, the payloads will launch aboard the primary two lander deliveries of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. These deliveries will help pave the way for sending the primary woman and therefore the next man to the lunar surface by 2024.

In May 2019, the agency awarded two orders for scientific payload delivery to Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines, with both flights targeted to land on the Moon next year. Astrobotic, which can launch its Peregrine lander on a United Launch Alliance rocket, will carry 11 NASA payloads to the lunar surface, while Intuitive Machines, which can launch its Nova-C lander on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will carry five NASA payloads to the Moon.

“We’ve finished the work of assigning science and technology payloads to every of the initial CLPS deliveries,” said Chris Culbert, CLPS project manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This step allows our commercial partners to finish the important technical integration work necessary to fly the payloads and brings us a step closer to launching and landing the investigations which will help us better understand the Moon before sending the primary woman and next man to the Moon.”

Each partner is liable for payload integration and operations, launching from Earth and landing on the Moon, also as securing any additional customers on their flights, if desired. The payloads are each about the dimensions of a shoebox and home in mass from around two to 33 pounds (one to fifteen kilograms).

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