NASA has started a call for companies to hitch the ranks of its nine current Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) suppliers, a bunch it chose in November after an identical solicitation for proposals. With the CLPS program, NASA is purchasing space aboard future commercial lunar landers to ship to the surface of the Moon its future analysis, science and demonstration tasks, and it’s searching for more suppliers to enroll as lunar lander providers. Contracts might show out to $2.6 billion and extend through 2028.
The list of nine suppliers chosen in November 2018 consists of Astrobotic Technology, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Lockheed Martin, Firefly Aerospace, Intuitive Machines, Masten Space Systems, Moon Express, and OrbitBeyond. NASA is seeking to these firms, and any new companies added to the list because of this second call for submissions, to ship both small and mid-size lunar landers, with the purpose of delivering something from rovers, to batteries, to payloads specific to future Artemis missions with the purpose of serving to set up an extra permanent human presence on the Moon.
NASA’s purpose in building out a stable of providers helps its Moon ambitions in a number of alternative ways, including providing redundancy, and likewise providing a competitive field to allow them to open up bids for particular payloads and achieve price benefits.
At the end of May, NASA introduced the award of more than $250 million in contracts for particular payload delivery missions that had been meant to happen by 2021.