The first US lunar lander in the 21st century will be designed in India, the result of NASA's new willingness to outsource production of its space vehicles.
NASA says it will spend more than $ 250 million hiring private companies to transport scientific missions to the moon.
Three companies-Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines, and Orbit Beyond-
These privately-operated missions, part of the US space agency's broader rush back to the moon, are designed to collect data about the lunar surface and pilot technologies. 2021
NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program is in that it is a consortium. The design and construction of its lander will be performed by TeamIndus, an Indian company. Chandrayaan-2, July 2019)
TeamIndus was created in 2010 to take part in the Google Lunar XPrize, a $ 30 million contest that could be by sending a robot to the moon. The contest was canceled when it became clear But many have not been given up; Israel's SpaceIL attempted to land on the moon and failed, while other former contestants like Astrobotic or iSpace in Japan are planning to move ahead with their missions.
International collaboration is common in space engineering: 15 nations, including the US, Russia, Canada, and Japan, built the International Space Station; the European Space Agency is a critical module for Orion, a spacecraft being built by NASA; and NASA and the ISRO are collaborating on a new radar satellite. Even the CLPS program seeks to bring scientific instruments from seven different countries to the moon.
Still, NASA has not used it abroad before. While the US space agency frequently delegates exploration missions to outside groups like Lockheed Martin or Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it still remains deeply involved in the details of the design. This time, the US space agency is outsourcing the design and operation of a space vehicle that will land on another astronomical body. "
" When I say we're riding, that's literally what we're doing, "Steve Clark, who leads NASA's exploration programs, said on May 31. "They are responsible for the launch, the lander itself, landing it, and making sure we can operate our instruments on the surface of the moon.
Orbit Beyond's consortium also includes US Honeybee Robotics, Advanced Space, Ceres Robotics, and Apollo's Fusion to handle tasks including the installation of scientific payloads Maneuvering from the Earth to the moon, and operating on the lunar surface.
The failure of SpaceIL's Beresheet Landing in April underscores the difficult of a soft landing on the moon. Clark said he was confident in the teams that NASA had selected, and the company executives said they were careful.
"There are not nine lunar capable teams in the United States," Steve Altimus, the CEO of Intuitive Machines, said on May 31, inadvertently highlighting Orbit Beyond's international approach.
Successfully reaching the moon, TeamIndus founder Rahul Narayan told Quartz in 2016, "Declares that India can compete at the highest level of technology. "