NASA chooses technology firm Maxar for lunar platform project

Illustration of a human landing system

Shares of Maxar Technologies Inc (NYSE:MAXR) rocketed by double-digits on Thursday after NASA selected the tech company to help build its Gateway platform in lunar orbit that will shuttle astronauts to the moon. The outpost will serve as a staging point for astronauts to launch missions to the surface of the Moon, return and refuel, and then launch again with the same reusable spacecraft.

The name "Artemis" comes from Greek mythology: she was the goddess of hunting and the moon and also was the sister of the god Apollo, for whom the original NASA moon missions in the late 1960s and 1970s were named.

Nasa needs an additional $1.6bn next year if they are to stand any chance of getting humans to the moon again by 2024, as the USA president, Donald Trump, has requested.

Following his remarks, Bridenstine will answer questions from media at 2:10 p.m., in the Digital Scholarship Lab at Florida Institute of Technology's Evans Library, 2949 Science Cir., Melbourne.

The Committee on Wednesday revealed the funding bill was approved and NASA would be funded to the tune of $22.32 billion, but that additional cash will not be funnelled into lunar lander development and instead go into other NASA programmes unrelated to the Moon mission, CNET reported.

The flights will use NASA's huge and still untested Space Launch System (SLS) and four-astronaut Orion crew capsule to reach an orbiting Moon station called Gateway. When the researchers heated this material with a laser to simulate the heat caused by micrometeorite impacts that strikes the surface of the moon, they discovered that the samples released a burst of ions that matching that of ionized heavy water (deuterium oxide), which is basically water with made from the deuterium isotope of hydrogen that can be used in certain types of nuclear reactors but isn't potable.

Earlier this month, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin unveiled its own lunar lander.

"The goal here is speed", Bridenstine said, "2024 is right around the corner".

Bridenstine said Thursday that NASA had chosen private firm Maxar to build the station's first module, the power and propulsion element, which would rely on huge solar panels.



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