Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Draper in space race for $2.6b in NASA moonshot contracts

Draper in space race for $2.6b in NASA moonshot contracts

This illustration made available by NASA in 2018 shows the InSight lander drilling into Mars. The company is now developing a "Peregrine Lander" aimed at orbital and surface operations for any lunar destination.

The picture of McCandless floating by himself in the blackness of space, with the blue Earth in the background, is one of NASA's most iconic.

The move is part of NASA's goal of sending people to the Moon in the next decade, for the first time since the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s.

However, NASA's plan to land on the moon may happen before the Russian moon landings, as the United States space agency is apparently trying to have a continuous human presence on the lunar presence by 2030.

Davenport cited three unnamed officials, who said that top NASA brass were upset with Musk, who had sipped whiskey and smoked weed on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Characterizing the US race to the moon "a fledgling industry", he said NASA will rely heavily on the private companies' research and will be affordable.

The initial deliveries likely will include radiation monitors, as well as laser reflectors for gravity and other types of measurements, according to Zurbuchen. "We've had a number of conversations", he said adding, "I will tell you, he is as committed to safety as anybody, and he understands that that was not appropriate behavior, and you won't be seeing that again". NASA will be one of multiple customers using these lunar services.

After safely landing on Mars following its almost seven month journey, NASA has released the first pictures taken by its InSight spacecraft, which has opened it solar arrays to charge batteries.

Those "services", or instruments, are tasked with things like discovering more resources and creating commercial structures on the moon. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman, formerly Orbital ATK, have built space station shipments since 2012. It expects to start hearing proposals by January.

Cumulatively, the contracts could be worth up to $2.6 billion over 10 years.

Draper: A Cambridge-based company focused on developing general engineered systems for corporate, government, and academic solutions. They could also help NASA scout and study potential locations for bases, particularly in the eternally shadowed craters near the moon's poles that are filled with frozen water. In addition to Firefly Aerospace Agency has selected Lockheed Martin, Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems and Moon Express, Draper, Intuitive Machines, Deep Space Systems. Blue Origin hasn't been as specific, but Bezos has said the company is working on a large rocket called New Armstrong, named for the first man to set foot on the moon. Expectations should not exceed 50 percent, Zurbuchen stressed.

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