Tech Why the Moon landing matters, 50 years later

Tech Why the Moon landing matters, 50 years later

The company hopes to launch the lander in June 2021 and land it on the moon in July that year.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the awarding of such contracts was "a huge step forward for our Artemis lunar exploration plans". The commercial science payloads included 10 science experiments and two technology demonstrations that will: measure radiation levels, collect entry, descent, and landing information, test solar arrays, and analyze the amount of hydrogen on the lunar surface, said a NASA press statement.

By the end of the summer, NASA will determine which payloads will fly on each flight. Astrobotic proposes flying as many as 14 payloads for NASA to Lacus Mortis, a large crater on the near side of the moon, by July 2021.

The space agency has selected the companies to provide commercial moon landing services.

Technology site ArsTechnica reports that the American space agency Nasa has signed an agreement with Maxar Technologies to build the first module for the Lunar Gateway, a space station to be placed in orbit around the moon.

NASA is providing $79.5 million to Astrobotic, $77 million to Intuitive Machines and $97 million to Orbit Beyond to work on their landers. Intuitive Machines will fly five payloads on its Nova-C lander, with Orbit Beyond carrying four payloads on its own Z-01 lander.

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Orbit Beyond will land in Mare Imbrium, a lava plain in a lunar crater, by September 2020, after being launched by one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets.

The Lego Creator Expert NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander model, developed in cooperation with NASA, consists of an ascent stage with a detailed interior, plus a descent stage with a ladder and hatches that open. The material will conduct science investigations and demonstrate advanced technologies on the lunar surface.

"This announcement starts a significant step in NASA's collaboration with our commercial partners", said Chris Culbert, CLPS program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

The Apollo 11 set will be on sale June 1, while the newer sets will be available in North America beginning June 23.

There's a respectable level of detail here for what is technically a children's building toy, and Lego has even gone to the trouble of creating special gold versions of several parts so that the Lunar Lander set looks as accurate as possible. All nine companies initially selected in November 2018 for CLPS will be eligible to bid on subsequent task orders.

We still use the phrase "If we can put a man on the moon." as a spur to tackle our Earth-bound problems.

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