Moon missions in five years: Bezos' Blue Origin sets sights high

Moon missions in five years: Bezos' Blue Origin sets sights high

Having the ability to visit multiple sites with a reusable lander, such as this one presented by Lockheed Martin, supports many global, commercial and scientific collaborations, in addition to NASA's sustainable exploration of the Moon.

The craft can accommodate four people, carry one metric ton of equipment, and stay on the moon for up to two weeks without refueling before returning to the orbiting the station. Leveraging tech from the aerospace giant's Orion spacecraft for deep-space missions, the 14-meter, single-stage vessel can camp for up to 14 days on the moon.

The companies say they're partnering on a future Blue Moon mission to the lunar surface and will collaborate on a payload for Blue Origin's reusable, orbital-class New Glenn rocket - but it sounds as if the details still have to be worked out.

NASA has recently submitted to Congress a plan called the National Space Exploration Campaign, which immediately follows President Donald Trump Space Policy Directive-1 signed in December 2017.

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According to a NASA statement, "the agreement exemplifies the innovative approach that NASA and its worldwide partners are taking to team up with commercial partners to advance important science and exploration objectives on and around the Moon".

NASA will grant SpaceIL access to its Deep Space Network communication services, and its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - now orbiting the Moon - will try to capture images of the Israeli spacecraft during its landing.

The NASA's Gateway project provides global lunar access for a Moon lander. According to a lunar mineralogical map released by NASA past year, water is present nearly everywhere on the moon's surface, albeit in minute amounts.

The Israeli Space Agency (ISA) announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement with NASA to engage the American space agency in the first Israeli moon mission. Important quantities of water can be found on the moon's polar region, which missions in the future can use to create fuel and oxygen for a manned outpost.

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