NASA has announced its new moon partnerships with American companies today. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine made the announcement today at 2 PM EST which was broadcast live on NASA’s website. The partnerships will form an integral aspect of NASA’s future missions to the moon and Mars.
NASA was clearly happy to announce their new model of using private enterprise as system providers for future missions. The new partners announced today were:
Deep Space Systems
Masten Space System
NASA is determined to send crewed missions back to the moon following a directive from Republican President, Donald Trump. Last December the president signed the Space Policy Directive-1 which gave instruction to NASA to prioritize missions to both the moon.
President directs NASA to get back to the moon
“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use,” the president said during the signing. NASA needs to work closely with private enterprise to make the moon missions financially possible.
It is high time that humanity went beyond Earth. Should have a moon base by now and sent astronauts to Mars. The future needs to inspire. https://t.co/6HjDQnRSA5— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 13, 2017
The last time a human was on the moon, over 45 years ago, the mission totaled $25 billion, which adjusted for inflation would look more like $150 billion today.
Trump’s administration was clear in its directive requesting that the NASA Administrator shall, 'Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.
Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations."
Financial partners needed to share mission costs
The Space Directive prompted NASA to establish The Exploration Campaign, a national and agency effort focused on three core domains: low Earth orbit; lunar orbit and surface; and Mars and other deep space objectives.