Space & Planetary Science: May 2019 Archives

NASA to Announce Selection of Science Commercial Moon Landing Services, Hold Media Teleconference

"NASA will announce the next major step in the Artemis program's lunar surface exploration plans during a NASA Science Live broadcast at 1 p.m. EDT Friday, May 31. The announcement will air on NASA Television and the agency's website. Paving the way to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon, and ultimately Mars, NASA will announce the selection of the first commercial Moon landing service providers that will deliver science and technology payloads as part of the agency's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS). These missions will acquire new science measurements and enable important technology demonstrations, whose data will inform the development of future landers and other exploration systems needed for astronauts to return to the Moon by 2024."

NASA Selects First Commercial Moon Landing Services for Artemis Program

"- Astrobotic of Pittsburgh has been awarded $79.5 million and has proposed to fly as many as 14 payloads to Lacus Mortis, a large crater on the near side of the Moon, by July 2021.
- Intuitive Machines of Houston has been awarded $77 million. The company has proposed to fly as many as five payloads to Oceanus Procellarum, a scientifically intriguing dark spot on the Moon, by July 2021.
- Orbit Beyond of Edison, New Jersey, has been awarded $97 million and has proposed to fly as many as four payloads to Mare Imbrium, a lava plain in one of the Moon's craters, by September 2020."

NASA OIG Audit: Management Of NASA's Europa Mission

"Despite robust early-stage funding, a series of significant developmental and personnel resource challenges place the Clipper's current mission cost estimates and planned 2023 target launch at risk. Specifically, NASA's aggressive development schedule, a stringent conflict of interest process during instrument selection, and an insufficient evaluation of cost and schedule estimates has increased project integration challenges and led the Agency to accept instrument cost proposals subsequently found to be far too optimistic. Moreover, Clipper has had to compete with at least four other major JPL-managed projects for critical personnel resources, causing concern that the project may not have a sufficient workforce with the required skills at critical periods in its development cycle. ... In addition, although Congress directed NASA to use the SLS to launch the Clipper, it is unlikely to be available by the congressionally mandated 2023 date and therefore the Agency continues to maintain spacecraft capabilities to accommodate both the SLS and two commercial launch vehicles, the Delta IV Heavy and Falcon Heavy. ... We also believe that requiring the Agency to pursue a Lander mission at the same time it is developing the Clipper mission is inconsistent with the NRC's recommended science exploration priorities."

NASA OIG: NASA's Heliophysics Portfolio

"To improve NASA's management of its heliophysics portfolio, we recommended the Associate Administrator for Science direct the HPD Director to (1) require that all JCL analyses include all discrete development risks including important risks managed outside of the project--such as a project's launch vehicle--with potential cost and/or schedule impacts; (2) complete implementation of NSWAP tasks; (3) reassess HPD's capabilities and resources and update its roadmap for implementing 2013 Decadal recommendations with expected completion dates based on the Division's updated budget and priorities over the next 5 years; and (4) establish a formal mechanism to increase collaboration with DOD and the commercial space industry regarding heliophysics research and space weather modeling and forecasting efforts."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Space & Planetary Science category from May 2019.

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