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NASA Will Unlock New Private Moon Landing Partner Today. How to listen



NASA will unveil the latest company to build a personal lander for the trip to the moon today (November 18) and you can follow the announcement online.

At 4.30 pm EST (2030 GMT), NASA will announce they are the latest US companies to join the Commercial Lunar Payload Service project, or CLPS, for private lunar landers. The new companies will join a group of competing American companies to get NASA contracts to conduct experiments on the moon as part of the agency's Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.

NASA will broadcast the announcement via teleconference, which you can do follow directly on Space.com here, NASA's. You can also join the teleconference directly on the NASA website.

Related: 21 of the Most Extraordinary Moon Missions of All Time

Steve Clarke, associate deputy administrator for exploration in NASA's science directorate, will speak during today's announcement. He will be joined by CLPS project manager Chris Culbert of Johnson Space Center and representatives of the newly selected company.

Today's announcement follows the selection of three NASA companies – Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines, and Orbit Beyond – to build a commercial moon robot landing for future missions. Since then, Orbit Beyond has left the program and NASA has opened a new phase of the CLPS project for the company.

In November 2018, NASA also announced the selection of nine companies to join the CLPS group. The companies, as announced today, will bid for the moon landing contract.

"In July, NASA announced the opportunity for American companies to join the CLPS contract to send larger and heavier loads to the surface of the moon," NASA officials said in a statement. "The newly selected companies, along with the nine originals selected in November 2018, will all be eligible to offer a month's delivery service in the future, including order orders for heavier loads, as well as cargo integration and operations."

"Investigations and demonstrations launched on CLPS flights will help NASA study the moon as it prepares to send its first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 through the agency's Artemis program, with its final human mission to Mars," the agency's official added.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom on and on Facebook.

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(Image credit: All About Space)


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