NASA calls for next phase of commercial lunar payload services in Artemis program

NASA has announced it has called for industry to participate in the next phase of its commercial lunar payload services (CLPS) to deliver science and technology payloads to and near the Moon, the administration said.

The newest announcement calls for companies to push the boundaries of current technology to support the next generation of lunar landers that can land heavier payloads on the surface of the Moon, including the South Pole, as part of the agency´s Artemis program, which will send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, setting the stage for future human exploration of Mars.

NASA anticipates the need for both small and mid-size lunar landers to enable a variety of science investigations and larger technology demonstration payloads that will meet science objectives and human exploration goals. Future payloads could include rovers, power sources, science experiments, and technology to be infused into the Artemis program.

Any companies newly selected under this call will join the nine CLPS providers already contracted to provide services to the lunar surface to support NASA exploration priorities and use the Moon as a proving ground for systems and technologies that will enable humans to explore Mars.

The CLPS contracts are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts with a combined maximum contract value of USD 2.6 billion with performance through 2028.