NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine used a Dec. 5 speech on Capitol Hill to implore Congress to finish a fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill for NASA as soon as possible to give the agency funding to proceed on a lunar lander program.
NASA, with the assistance of an amateur image analyst, has identified the crash site of India’s Vikram lunar lander, the agency announced Dec. 2.
NASA announced Nov. 18 that it was adding five companies to a contract to perform commercial deliveries of payloads to the surface of the moon, a group that ranges from small ventures to Blue Origin and SpaceX.
A NASA official warned that extended delays in finalizing a fiscal year 2020 budget for the agency could have implications for its ability to stay on schedule for returning humans to the moon in 2024.
Japanese lunar lander company ispace says it’s on track to launch its first mission in 2021 while supporting an American partner on potential NASA missions.
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 issued a final version of its call for proposals for a human lunar lander system Sept. 30, giving companies the option to at least initially bypass the lunar Gateway.
A House version of a stopgap spending bill does not include any special provisions for NASA, which threatens to delay work on lunar landers needed for the agency to achieve its goal of returning astronauts to the moon by 2024.
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India's bid to become the fourth country to land on the moon ended with loss of contact with the Chandrayaan-2 mission lander during the final stages of the Sept. 6 landing attempt.
Members of a NASA safety panel praised the agency for moving ahead quickly with aspects of its Artemis program to return humans to the moon, but warned about perceptions of a leadership vacuum for that effort.
German lunar lander company PTScientists, which filed for bankruptcy in July, announced it has been acquired by an unidentified aerospace company, allowing it to continue operations.