Three small businesses received separate contracts worth potentially $253.5M combined to help NASA send payloads to the lunar surface under the two-phase Artemis program.
Contractors will also integrate and manage technology platforms for NASA’s scientific studies while supporting assessments for future landers and related systems that could potentially send astronauts to the moon and Mars, NASA said Friday
The agency awarded $97M to Orbit Beyond to carry up to four Commercial Lunar Payload Services cargo to the moon’s Mare Imbrium lava plain; $79.5M to Astrobotic to send a maximum of 14 payloads to the moon’s Lacus Mortis crater; and $77M to Intuitive Machines to deliver up to five payloads to the moon’s Oceanus Procellarum area.
Jim Bridenstine, administrator of NASA and a 2019 Wash100 recipient, said the agency’s investment in commercial landing services represents a step toward establishing a space economy beyond low-Earth orbit.
NASA expects Orbit Beyond to finish contract work in September 2020.
Astrorobotic and Intuitive Machines are expected to complete services by July 2021.