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NASA Is Offering $7 Billion to US Companies as Part of Its 2024 Moon Landing Mission

With Artemis, NASA aims to land on the moon by 2024 and establishing a sustained base on and in orbit by 2028, before eventually sending men and women to Mars.

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Updated:August 27, 2019, 4:55 PM IST
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NASA Is Offering $7 Billion to US Companies as Part of Its 2024 Moon Landing Mission
With Artemis, NASA aims to land on the moon by 2024 and establishing a sustained base on and in orbit by 2028, before eventually sending men and women to Mars.
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As part of its 2024-planned Artemis mission, NASA is offering $7 billion to US companies that can ferry cargo, supplies and experiments to the Gateway spacecraft in lunar orbit, according to a media report.

The Artemis – Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon's Interaction with the Sun— is the space agency’s most ambitious lunar exploration project.

With Artemis, the NASA aims to “demonstrate new technologies, capabilities, and business approaches needed for future exploration including Mars” and establish “American leadership and a strategic presence on the Moon while expanding our U.S. global economic impact.”

The $7 billion offer is the “largest of several proposals unveiled since May as the agency accelerates work to return to space, with the eventual goal of reaching Mars,” Bloomberg reports.

NASA is still awaiting a nod from Congress and US President Donald Trump for Artemis. In June, NASA administrator James Bridenstine had said on CNN that the project may require as much as $30 billion to meet its 2024 deadline.

However, later he had declined to provide an estimate while testifying before a Senate committee.

“We’ve put an end to decades of budget cuts and decline," Vice President Mike Pence said 20 August at a Virginia meeting of the National Space Council. “We’ve renewed America’s commitment to human space exploration, vowing to go further into space, farther and faster than ever before."

If it’s able to achieve the 2024 target, NASA would be way ahead of Chinese goal of sending its astronauts at a research station at the south pole in the 2030s.

With Artemis, NASA aims to land on the moon by 2024 and establishing a sustained base on and in orbit by 2028, before eventually sending men and women to Mars.

The agency has already sought proposals from companies for a system to carry supplies and other items on a commercial rocket to the small Gateway station for six months of docked operations.

“This solicitation builds on the capabilities NASA pioneered in low-Earth orbit with commercial cargo resupply to the International Space Station and is the next step in commercialization of deep space," Bridenstine said in a statement.

In July, the space agency sought bids for a $2.6 billion contract for the next generation of lunar landers, including vehicles that can handle heavier payloads and land at the moon’s South Pole.

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