Executive Intelligence Review


NASA Aims To Accelerate ‘Commercial’ Unmanned Lunar Payloads

Feb. 18, 2019 (EIRNS)—NASA is accelerating its commercial lunar payload program, to try to get a NASA science payload to the surface of the Moon this year. To do that, it is offering “financial bonuses” to the private companies that are developing supposedly “commercial” lunar landers.

In November, NASA selected nine companies to develop lunar landers that could carry NASA science payloads to the surface of the Moon. They would then get paid by NASA for the delivery. Now, NASA is apparently getting worried that these companies (all but one you’ve never heard of, because they haven’t done anything yet) may not be ready on this accelerated timetable. So NASA will provide “financial incentives,” to what has been billed as a privately developed, commercial endeavor.

Time is of the essence, is the new mantra at the space agency. At a briefing from NASA headquarters on Feb. 14, Administrator Bridenstine said directly, “It’s important that we get back to the Moon as fast as possible.” The first step, is to accelerate this commercial payload program. Bridenstine has also stated that NASA plans to move its first manned landing on the Moon up to 2028, from a previous early 2030s.

Any guess who they are worried about getting there first?