Elon Musk Smoking Weed 'Not Appropriate Behavior — NASA Chief

Elon Musk Smoking Weed 'Not Appropriate Behavior — NASA Chief

"We've never done anything that fast", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, which manages the contracts with these firms.

The approach is unusual for NASA, said Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who said NASA usually maintains control down to the "last rivet of a spacecraft". The agency has already called for the development of instrumentation and other lunar-focused technologies.

The announcement on future moon flights came just three days after NASA successfully landed its InSight spacecraft on Mars.

Musk recently said SpaceX will launch a Japanese billionaire on a flight around the moon in 2023.

"We didn't want to wait until after there's an accident, because we don't believe there's going to be an accident, but we wanted to make sure that we do that assessment early and not after the fact".

Several of SLS are planned through the 2020s, and the first is called Block 1. Under this architecture, NASA would become one "among many" customers.

Such issues have some experts estimating an average cost of $5 billion per SLS launch, which are single-use.

An illustration of Blue Origin's reusable New Glenn rocket launching toward space.

"On the Gateway, America and its partners will prepare to transit deep space, testing new technologies and systems as we build the infrastructure to support missions to the surface of the Moon and prepare for the epochal mission to Mars", the agency said.

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But both of those companies may be heading to the moon, anyway. Here, the spaceship is shown detaching from the booster. He's built some groundbreaking businesses and, with SpaceX, has helped push science advancement in a big way.

NASA expects the selected contractors to begin flying to the moon as early as next year.

It remains to be seen how the space agency would react to such a feat, which is essentially a creative reprise of the. However, final plans about the program will be completed by next year. "My guess is that it's coming".

The campaign has five strategic goals: transitioning low-Earth orbit human spaceflight, like the International Space Station, to more commercial operations; using robotic missions to discover resources on the moon; furthering surface operations on the moon; returning astronauts to the moon's surface; and demonstrating what's necessary for human missions to Mars.

NASA administrators may have listened to Frank Sinatra's iconic tune, "Fly Me to the Moon", too many times in recent months, as the space agency announced it is returning to the natural satellite. We've proven this with the ISS with commercial resupply and, soon, commercial crew. SpaceX is now looking to fly first with its. Its first tests are expected to take place in 2019.

"What they bring to their consortium is tried and tested navigation systems", said Chad Anderson, chief executive of Space Angels, a NY investment firm that finances space-oriented startups. "A lot of this is still developing, but the good news is that it's moving quickly".

The US, on the other hand, seems to treat the idea of a lunar colony as a stepping stone to Mars.

"That's kind of where we are", Jurczyk added.

Draper is a not-for-profit which was involved with the Apollo Moon landings.