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March 4-10, 2019 / Vol 38, No 9 / Hawai`i Island, USA

1 Mar 2019, 20:42 UTC
March 4-10, 2019 / Vol 38, No 9 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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USA ‘Moon Rush’ Following SPD-1 ?

Continuing to follow Space Policy Directive 1 (SPD-1) NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is committed to returning to the Moon with speed. NASA selects 12 scientific demonstration payloads to be landed possibly starting in 2019. Experiments developed by NASA centers include a magnetometer, a mass spectrometer for lunar volatiles, and three resource prospecting instruments. A neutron spectrometer and infrared spectrometer have been developed for the canceled Lunar Resource Prospector mission. Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payload (LSITP) proposals from researchers had a separate due date of February 27. The 9 companies, selected as Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS), will compete to provide delivery to Moon. Mar 25 is due date for human lunar lander proposals. Commercial entities will submit designs for lunar ascent element, descent element, and orbital transfer vehicle, elements to be orbited on commercial boosters to rendezvous with crew on Orion. Exploration Mission 1, uncrewed test of Orion, is planned for 2020. EM-2 planned for 2022 would send 4-person crew to lunar orbit. NASA also seeks contributions from international partners while sharing data with Zhongguo Chang’e-4 mission. US has speedy goals of descent element tests beginning in 2024, end-to-end uncrewed landing test in ...

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