WATCH: NASA Will Announce New 'Moon Partnerships' Today

Thursday, 29 November 2018 - 12:28PM
NASA
Space
Moon
Thursday, 29 November 2018 - 12:28PM
WATCH: NASA Will Announce New 'Moon Partnerships' Today
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NASA/Bill Ingalls
Get hyped, because today's the day NASA's announcing the next batch of commercial projects that have been accepted for liftoff! These projects were proposed by US companies to further NASA's goal of scientific investigation and human exploration, and will advance NASA's progress toward fulfilling Space Policy Directive 1, which pushes the agency to lead the expansion of human explorers across the Solar System. In an official statementNASA said "Working with U.S. companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and Mars."

You can watch announcement at 2 PM EST (1900 GMT) below!



Apart from Mars, the Moon is the juiciest apple in the eyes of the newly resurgent space industry: Russia has announced plans to create a permanent Moon base populated by robotic avatars, Japan's company iSpace has recently taken the first step in making its 'Moon Valley' concept a reality, and NASA itself plans to land astronauts there by the late 2020s. There's also plans for the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, which will act as a base of operations for deep space missions and lunar exploration, as well as jumping-off point for missions to Mars.

Still, NASA's Moon plans aren't without their critics—the President of the Mars Society recently published an article decrying the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, calling it the "Lunar Orbit Tollbooth." He also called for NASA to abandon its other "useless" projects and focus on making America a leader in space exploration again, which is strange considering that's exactly what Space Policy Direct 1 claims to do.

Regardless of which new commercial partners NASA announces today, two are pretty much assured for the future: SpaceX and Boeing. Both companies have already completed cargo missions to the ISS, and the next step will be manned missions, though a recent safety investigation spurred by Elon Musk's pot scandal may throw a wrench into those plans.
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