NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen welcome representatives from nine private companies that will be involved in NASA's future missions to the moon and Mars. NASA believes the first missions could head for the moon as soon as next year, and it already has some payloads in mind.
Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
NASA's Exploration Campaign includes US leadership in low-Earth orbit, in orbit around the Moon and on its surface, and at destinations far beyond, including Mars.
While President Barack Obama told NASA to focus on sending astronauts to Mars, largely bypassing the moon, the Trump administration has made the moon a priority, although astronauts would likely not arrive until late in the 2020s.
Ispace is one of a number of newspace companies and subsidiaries established in Luxembourg since the launch of the SpacesResources.lu initiative to create an eco-system for space mining in 2016.
Bridenstine said that a frequent question was whether the culture at NASA and its contractors contributed to those accidents.
During Council meetings, U.S. government officials from civilian and military space along with space industry leaders such as SpaceX and Boeing, as well as other significant public and private institutions, hold discussions with high ranking members of the United States government, the Vice President being the Chairman. The awards are all indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts, and it's not unusual for the actual value of such awards to be far less than the maximum value.
"Potentially, this spacecraft could be the first thing to show that we can produce water fuel from the moon and potentially turn the moon into a refueling station for spacecraft to go deeper and deeper into space", said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic.
India and Israel also plan to launch lunar landers next year.
NASA Administrator James Bridenstine delivers remarks as he tours the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. The two organizations are collaborating to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. "If you want to learn the age of the solar system, you take samples from the moon and analyze them". The mission: to deliver scientific instruments to the moon, as a prelude to setting up permanent bases for people. "Growing from the NASA Centennial Lander Challenge through working with NASA CATALYST (Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown) and now CLPS is very exciting!"