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NASA awards contracts to three companies for commercial lunar lander missions
Posted: Sun, Jun 2, 2019, 10:21 AM ET (1421 GMT)
CLPS lander illustration (NASA) NASA announced Friday the award of more than $250 million in contracts to three companies to deliver NASA payloads to the lunar surface by 2021. NASA said it selected Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines, and OrbitBeyond to fly as many as 23 scientific payloads on those companies' lander missions, scheduled to launch between September 2020 and July 2021. The contracts are the first since NASA selected nine companies for its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program last November, making them eligible to compete for task orders like this. None of the three landers will go to the south pole of the Moon, the destination of NASA's human lunar landing plans, but agency officials said they're panning future task orders that would specify missions to the south pole.
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