MYSTERY WIRE — NASA has partnered with 14 American companies to develop a range of technologies that will help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the Moon by the end of the decade.
NASA’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the partnership on Wednesday during a Virtual Lunar Surface Consortium, co-hosted by John Hopkins University and Arizona State University.
“We’re going to enable the private sector, but we’re also going to enable international partners for the biggest, broadest, most diverse, inclusive coalition of research and exploration on the surface of the Moon in the history of humankind,’ Bridenstine said.
U.S. industry submitted the proposals to NASA’s fifth competitive Tipping Point solicitation, and the selections have an expected combined award value of more than $370 million.
“But this exploration, it’s not about the moon or Mars. It’s not about human exploration or science. We’re bringing it all together in a way that makes the program sustainable,’ Bridenstine said.
While NASA is leading the Artemis program, which includes sending the first woman and next man to the surface of the Moon in 2024, international partnerships will play a key role in achieving a sustainable and robust presence on the Moon later this decade while preparing to conduct a historic human mission to Mars.
NASA said it hopes that more exploration of the moon will help the US establish a strategic presence in space and grow their international partnerships.
NASA announced it was establishing the Artemis Accords earlier this year to guide future cooperative activities, to be implemented through bilateral agreements that will describe responsibilities and other legal provisions.
The partners will ensure their activities comply with the accords in carrying out future cooperation. International cooperation on Artemis is intended not only to bolster space exploration but to enhance peaceful relationships among nations.