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May 4-10, 2020 / Vol 39, No 18 / Hawai`i Island, USA

1 May 2020, 20:22 UTC
May 4-10, 2020 / Vol 39, No 18 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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USA 21st Century Artemis Lunar Program Accelerates via Infrastructure Contracts, Information Gathering

Artemis program, which emerged from Space Policy Directive 1, seeks to realize sustained lunar human presence and Moon South Pole exploration with additional commercial and international partnerships. The Human Landing System contracts to Blue Origin US$579M, Dynetics $253M and SpaceX $135M for Artemis mission 3 could see the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024. The US$250M Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover 2023 will be delivered through TBD Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contractors to investigate South Pole permanently shadowed craters. Of the 14 chosen CLPS providers, awarded has been Astrobotic $79.5M Peregrine lander launching July 2021, Intuitive Machines $77M Nova-C launching Oct 2021, and Masten $79.5M XL-1 for South Pole landing late 2022. Other potential bidders for future missions are Blue Origin, Ceres Robotics, Deep Space Systems, Draper Laboratory, Firefly Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Moon Express, Orbit Beyond, Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX and Tyvak. International lunar gateway will be scaled down / postponed to achieve lunar landings asap. Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) RFI remains open until May 10 to generate mission ideas. Artemis 1 launching April 2021 on ...

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