NASA already has those of us here on Earth excited with future plans for the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway that will someday be a launchpad for Mars. Who isn’t eager to see boot prints in the moondust for the first time since Apollo 17? Until that momentous leap happens, the space agency has made it obvious it isn’t going to wait until a human mission takes off to level up its technology for lunar exploration.
As part of its Exploration Campaign aligned with Space Policy Directive 1, NASA is reaching out to the U.S. commercial space industry for Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) in the form of new tech to fly payloads to the moon. These services will kickstart robotic moon missions that may touch down a few years ahead of schedule, while the agency continues to develop moon landers and research the lunar surface in more depth before astronauts return to explore those craters.
Read more at SyFyWire here: