NASA would buy space on commercial robotic landers to deliver payloads to the lunar surface, missions that could start as early as next year, Xinhua news agency reported.
NASA has named nine USA companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp, that will compete for funding under the space agency's renewed long-term moon programme, a private-public undertaking to develop technology that will explore the lunar surface.
NASA hopes that others will use these services as space travel becomes an endeavour accessible to private corporations.
If SpaceX's first orbital launch and later uncrewed missions fly without, the company intends to fly a in 2023. "This is also the first step toward the Moon in relation to Space Policy Directive-1". This includes encouraging private investment where possible and shifting sights to lunar science, including the Gateway Lunar Orbital Platform and a human return to the Moon in the short term.
Cumulatively, the contracts could be worth up to $2.6 billion over 10 years. Those involved with CLPS underlined the spirit of cooperation required for complex programs such as this one to be successful.
America's next moon landing will be made by private companies - possibly one from Colorado - not NASA. Zurbuchen said the agency has a "set of instruments" that are either ready for flight now or could be ready in the near future, such as a retroreflector to enable accurate laser ranging of the Earth-moon distance.
The agency is also conducting a review of SpaceX and Boeing to assess the cultures of the government contractors. "If you want to learn the age of the solar system, you take samples from the moon and analyze them".
"We're returning to the Moon, preparing to go beyond to Mars".
The lander is based on designs for Martian landers the company produced for NASA, including the InSight lander that touched down on Mars Nov. 26.
Bridenstine said he had "a number of conversations" with Musk about the incident, adding, "You won't be seeing that again".
Two advantages of the partnerships include getting USA astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keeping them safer after they arrive.
However, according to NASA's plans, by 2040, the USA space agency would already have put humans on Mars, so Russian Federation is falling behind, to some extent. According to Nikolai Sevastyanov, the leader of Russia's TsNIIMash federal rocket and spaceсraft development corporation, the first stage would involve the deployment of a module to orbit the Moon.
Moon Express: A Cape Canaveral-based company dedicated to expanding commercial opportunities in general on the Moon.