NASA has announced that nine United States space companies are now eligible to bid on its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts.
One of the nine companies will be tasked with delivering science and technology payloads to the surface of the Moon for NASA.
“Today’s announcement marks tangible progress in America’s return to the Moon’s surface to stay,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
“The innovation of America’s aerospace companies, wedded with our big goals in science and human exploration, are going to help us achieve amazing things on the Moon and feed forward to Mars.”
The CLPS contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts and have a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years.
NASA’s objective in sending these payloads to the Moon is to further study its surface and gain valuable insight into potential challenges which could aid future manned missions to Mars.