Draper, a research and development company, is one of nine private USA firms participating in NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Service (CLPS) initiative, competing for a share of up to $2.6 billion over the next 10 years to deliver experiments to the lunar surface.
The selected companies will compete on "cost and innovation", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said at the press conference today.
For the new NASA program, called Commercial Lunar Payload Services, the moon landers would be far too small to carry people, but they could ferry scientific experiments to the lunar surface.
When NASA announced its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program earlier this year, there was some question at first about how to pronounce its vowel-less acronym, CLPS.
"When I was a little kid, there were humans on the surface of the moon, and right after they landed, they put up a science experiment: aluminum foil", Zurbuchen said.
"We want to establish and open architecture capability-of data, communications, avionics, docking-to go from the Earth to the moon over and over again so any individual who can attract the capital, or company, could access it", said Bridenstine.
"The Artemis-7 design will fly multiple times before its first CLPS mission", said Seamus Tuohy, principal director of space systems at Draper.
Lockheed Martin's McCandless Lunar Lander.
NASA planned a new mission to the moon
Earlier this month, The Washington Post broke the news that NASA would conduct reviews of workplace culture in both SpaceX and Boeing following Musk's behavior on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
NASA's current plan is to start by sending gear to the Moon, and build an orbiting lunar station beginning in 2022. "At the end of the day the risk is high, but the return is also very high for a low investment".
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced Thursday that Draper and eight other U.S. companies, ranging from tiny startups to defense giant Lockheed Martin, will compete for $2.6 billion in NASA contracts.
Nasa has not said anything about the condition of the other instruments on board, which include a French-made seismometer to study Marsquakes and a German self-hammering mole to measure heat's escape from the planet.
Local media are invited to a roundtable discussion at 11 a.m. EST on November 30 at NASA's Langley Research Center to discuss how the center is working with commercial partners to support NASA's exploration of the Moon and Mars.
Apparently, NASA, back in 2014, awarded a $6.8 billion contract jointly to Boeing and SpaceX to develop launch system that would transport the NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station.