December 13, 2018

NASA picks nine companies to compete for commercial lunar lander missions

November 29, 2018

NASA announced Thursday nine companies that will be eligible to compete for up to $2.6 billion in contracts over the next decade to ferry scientific instruments and tech demo payloads to the moon aboard commercial robotic landers, a first step in what agency officials said will foster expanded private investment in deep space exploration and an eventual return of humans to the lunar surface.

Japanese billionaire reserves moon flight with SpaceX

September 18, 2018

Promising to take a half-dozen or more artists with him on the journey, Japanese fashion magnate Yusaku Maezawa said Monday he has paid a deposit for a ride around the moon aboard SpaceX’s planned BFR rocket as soon as 2023, a financial infusion that will help bankroll development of the company’s futuristic interplanetary transporter.

SpaceX promises details of “private passenger” moon flight Monday

September 14, 2018

A year-and-a-half after announcing plans to launch two private citizens on a flight around the moon using the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket and Dragon capsule, SpaceX posted a tweet late Thursday announcing apparently revised plans to launch a “private passenger” on a moon flight using SpaceX’s new BFR rocket.

Pence rallies Johnson Space Center workers with promise of moon missions

August 23, 2018

In what came across as a combination pep rally and old-time revival, Vice President Mike Pence asked flight controllers, engineers and astronauts at the Johnson Space Center Thursday to “rededicate” themselves to carrying out the Trump administration’s drive to establish a permanent U.S. presence around the moon in the early 2020s before eventual voyages to Mars.

Chinese data relay satellite nears post over far side of the moon

June 3, 2018

A Chinese communications satellite carrying a Dutch radio astronomy instrument launched last month is expected to maneuver into position around a gravitationally-neutral point beyond the moon in the coming days, ready to relay telemetry and data between Earth and the Chang’e 4 lander set to attempt the first landing on lunar far side late this year.

Trump budget aims to kick-start lunar exploration, cancels space telescope

February 12, 2018

The White House’s $19.9 billion NASA budget outline released Monday would continue development of NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule and begin the deployment of a mini-space station around the moon as soon as 2022, but the proposal would cancel WFIRST, a flagship-class astronomy mission planned for launch in the mid-2020s.

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