NASA awards Firefly Aerospace a $93.3M contract to deliver payloads to the Moon
The US space agency NASA has announced a partnership with the Firefly Aerospace company of Ukrainian businessman Max Polyakov. The agency will award the company $93.3 million for the delivery of science and technology payloads to the Moon in 2023.
- The company will participate in the delivery of these payloads to Mare Crisium. They will be used to investigate conditions on the lunar surface as well as available resources. Such investigations will help prepare for human missions to the lunar surface.
- The payloads, weighing a total of 94 kg, will include test equipment, including a set of lunar retroreflectors for precise measurements of the distance between Earth and the Moon, radiation-tolerant electronics, devices to analyze the regolith and structure of the lunar mantle, etc.
- The award is part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, in which NASA secures the support of commercial companies to quickly deliver the science and technology payloads on the lunar surface. This initiative is a key part of the Artemis program, which has the goal of landing people on the Moon and building a habitable settlement there.
Previously, a subsidiary of Firefly Aerospace was awarded a $9.8 million contract by NASA to launch small satellites to space.