NASA wants to return to the moon

And in a new request for information, the space agency has called for US companies to submit details on launch and landing services.

Adam Widmer | May 07, 2017

NASA is exploring new ways to transport cargo to the moon.

And in a new request for information, the space agency has called for US companies to submit details on launch and landing services.

The details will help NASA assess the availability of commercial services that could transport payload 'from earth to the lunar surface' by as early as 2018.

At the moment, the request for information is only intended for planning purposes.

NASA is exploring ways to send "instruments, experiments, and other payloads" to the moon.

Companies will have until June 2 to send in their responses.

"After numerous successful human and robotic missions, NASA remains committed to continuing high-priority lunar science," said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD).

According to reports, NASA wants companies to share details on commercial launch and landing services to transport payloads.

The details should also have the potential to acquire data from any commercial lunar surface missions and return payloads or samples to Earth.

The agency hopes to assess the availability and feasibility of such systems for potential launches as early as the fiscal year 2018.

These developments could help us improve our understanding of the technologies needed for exploration, and expand our knowledge of the moon.

In the last few years, many companies have been jostling for a chance to send a lander to the moon.

Moon Express one of the Google Lunar X Prize Teams is preparing to launch a lunar mission in 2017 with its MX-1E lander.

The company to mine the moon for materials rare earth metals and moon rocks.

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