NASA Readies New Experiments for the Moon, Plans to Launch Them This Year

Half a century after humans landed on the Moon, an invasion of hardware will be sent up 1 photo
Photo: NASA
2019 is the year space exploration will be reborn with more force than ever before. A large number of launches, including of new spaceships meant to carry humans to destinations beyond Earth, will be complemented by a series of never-before-tried experiments in space.
The Moon represents the stepping stone for the exploration of Mars in the next decade, and thus has become the main target for the American, Chinese and Russian space agencies. All are racing to send all sorts of hardware up there, through both government-backed and privately-funded programs.

Just after the launch of the world’s first private lander to aim for the Moon, the SpaceIL Beresheet, NASA announced it has selected a number of experiments it plans to send to our planet’s satellite by the end of this year, using commercial partners.

In all, 12 such experiments have been chosen by the agency, ranging from ones meant to measure the lunar surface radiation environment or the magnetic field to tools designed to come up with new precision landing capabilities for future landers.

“The selected payloads, along with those that will be awarded through the Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads call, will begin to build a healthy pipeline of scientific investigations and technology development payloads that we can fly to the lunar surface using U.S. commercial landing delivery services. Future calls for payloads are planned to be released each year for additional opportunities,” said in a statement Steve Clarke of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

The experiments announced this week by NASA will be launched on board the several missions to the Moon planned for this year. Currently, there are nine American companies working on their own lunar landers, in various states of development.

You can have a look at all the selected experiments for the Moon in the official NASA document attached below.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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