WASHINGTON – NASA announced Friday that the companies Astrobotic, Intuitive Machine and Orbit Beyond will help the agency in its next major step for lunar surface exploration plans.
The three companies will provide the first commercial Moon landing services that will deliver science and technology payloads as part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), according to NASA.
“These missions will acquire new science measurements and enable important technology demonstrations, whose data will inform the development of future landers and other exploration systems needed for astronauts to return to the Moon by 2024,” added NASA in its release.
Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate, hosted the event.
Officials said they hope to launch to the surface of the moon in July of 2021.