NASA has awarded more than $400 million in contracts to both demonstrate technologies needed for future lunar exploration and to send an ice-drilling payload to the south pole of the moon.
Intuitive Machines has identified a landing site for a commercial lunar lander mission next year that will carry payloads from NASA and other customers.
As NASA adds new companies to a commercial lunar landing services program, some existing participants worry its value to them may now be diminished.
Intuitive Machines, a company with a NASA contract to fly payloads to the moon in 2021, announced Oct. 2 it has signed a contract with SpaceX for the launch of its lunar lander.
NASA announced Sept. 27 the award of more than $40 million in contracts to 14 companies, including Blue Origin and SpaceX, to develop technologies that can support NASA’s long-term exploration plans.
NASA announced May 31 the award of more than $250 million in contracts to three companies to deliver NASA payloads to the lunar surface by 2021.
NASA has picked nine companies, ranging from startups to aerospace giants, to be eligible for future contracts to deliver payloads to the surface of the moon, but with no guarantee of business for any of them.
Commercial lunar transportation firm Moon Express delivered 590,710 shares of stock worth an estimated $2.25 million to Intuitive Machines LLC, a firm with autonomous systems expertise, as ordered Oct. 15 by a federal judge in Delaware.
A Delaware jury awarded $4.1 million in cash and Moon Express equity to Intuitive Machines, a Houston-based company Moon Express hired to write flight software and develop a terrestrial return vehicle for its commercial lunar transportation business.