NASA seeks industry help for human lunar landers

NASA to send humans to the moon once again – ‘but this time we’ll stay’

NASA administrator says agency plans to 'go to the Moon and stay'

The space race between the U.S. and Russia seems to be back on with a first ever manned lunar mission being planned by Russians for 2031.

"For the moon, we'd like to return humans in the late 2020s", Clarke said.

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The NASA administrator wrote a post detailing his agency's goals, which aside from sending people to the Moon as well as Mars one day, involves keeping them there longer. "I want to be clear - that is not our vision", said Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator.

The agency will send "new science instruments and technology demonstrations" to the moon's surface on "commercial cargo moon deliveries" in the future. "This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay", he added.

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Buhari's re-election campaign spokesman Festus Keyamo called the statements from the USA and others "notably off-key" and unwelcome.

When NASA first landed astronauts on the Moon several decades ago, it was an entirely government-driving affair. Just as SpaceX has become a major NASA partner in short order, this new call out for cooperation with private industry could bring some new faces into the NASA fold and give the agency the boost it needs to send man to the Moon once more.

"As a lifelong NASA supporter, I am thrilled to be talking once again about landing humans on the moon", he said, writing in online magazine OZY.

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Bridenstine revealed the agency's goals for the near and distant futures, including getting astronauts back to the Moon and sending the first ones to Mars. He also stated that the United States space agency contracted nine private space companies "to send cargo to the moon, with the ultimate goal being to develop landers that can take astronauts back to the surface of the Earth's satellite", according to The Independent. The second crew will be charged with testing vehicles created to travel on the surface of the Moon and in 2033 cosmonauts are scheduled to undertake long-distance trips on the lunar rover to conduct scientific research and test robotic systems.

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