NASA has picked space technology company Maxar Technologies Inc as the first contractor to help build its Gateway platform in lunar orbit, a crucial outpost for America's mission to relay astronauts to the moon in 2024, the USA agency said on Thursday.
NASA has unveiled the detailed plans for Artemis, its suddenly urgent mission to return to the Moon by 2024.
Still undecided, he said, was who would build the lander to transport crews from the outpost to the moon's surface and back to Gateway.
NASA advanced its target of returning humans to the Moon by four years, but a request for $1.6 billion funding in addition to the proposed $21 billion for the agency over the 2020 fiscal year has been rejected, the media reported.
"The goal here is speed", Bridenstine said, "2024 is right around the corner".
McLain had trained in both medium and large spacesuits in the past, but only one medium-sized torso was ready for use at the time of the mission, and it went to Koch. When the researchers heated this material with a laser to simulate the heat caused by micrometeorite impacts that strikes the surface of the moon, they discovered that the samples released a burst of ions that matching that of ionized heavy water (deuterium oxide), which is basically water with made from the deuterium isotope of hydrogen that can be used in certain types of nuclear reactors but isn't potable.
"We're not owning the hardware, we're buying the service", said Bridenstine of the lander.
Gateway is also expected to act as a way station for future Mars missions.
Aside from the NASA-led missions, five more launches were also scheduled between 2022 and 2024, to carry construction equipment for a lunar ministation called Gateway.
NASA has already announced that the segment will be a solar electric propulsion unit.
As stated a year ago, when Gateway was previewed, the first element to be built is the power and propulsion module that will keep Gateway running. Bridenstine admitted in March that "SLS is struggling to meet its schedule", and the agency has no lunar lander; only last week did it select 11 space technology firms to study various lander elements.