SpaceX has received a contract to act as the launch partner for Masten Space Systems. It is one of the companies awarded a NASA launch contract under that agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. The Masten’s first lunar mission is going to take place in 2022. And all goes to plan, and also will take the company’s XL-1 lunar lander to the south pole of the moon with NASA payloads onboard, with scientific experimentation instruments, and cargo from commercial passengers.
THE MISSION– DETAILS
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Masten Space Systems announced that it has selected SpaceX to launch Masten Mission One (MM1). As part of MM1, Masten’s lunar lander will deliver nine NASA-sponsored science. Technology demonstration experiments and several commercial payloads to the lunar South Pole. Its mission to the Moon, MM1 is a collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Project Office. The Masten XL-1 lunar lander is going to touch down on the lunar south pole in 2022. It has a suite of NASA-sponsored scientific instruments and various payloads from commercial space customers.
ABOUT NASA’S CLPS PROGRAM
NASA also works with several American companies to deliver science and technology to the lunar surface through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. The companies which have variable sizes will bid on delivering payloads for NASA. It includes payload integration and operations, launching from Earth, and landing on the surface of the Moon. Early commercial delivery missions will perform science experiments. Test technologies and demonstrate capabilities to help NASA explore the Moon and prepare for human missions under the Artemis program.
Masten Space Systems has also announced Aug. 26 that it has signed a contract with SpaceX for the launching of its first lunar lander mission. It is also said that SpaceX will launch its Masten Mission One, or MM1, lunar lander mission in late 2022. But actually the companies did not disclose the value of the contract. Before in this year, NASA selected Masten Space Systems for the delivery of eight different payloads to the moon’s pole as part of the agency’s Artemis program. It is designed to land human beings in the same region in 2024. Masten CEO Sean Mahoney has given one statement: “Having SpaceX’s proven launch success behind us is not only great for us, but it’s great for our customers. “We share a common vision with SpaceX and that makes this more than a partnership. It’s more like a dream team.”
The equipment of science on Masten’s lander will help the agency to study the lunar south pole by gathering key data about the area. NASA’s Artemis III mission will aim to land in the same part of the moon’s surface. Till now, there are four planned lunar lander missions scheduled under CLPS. It includes Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander launch in June 2021, Intuitive Machines’ following shortly after in October 2021, Masten’s now set for December 2022 and Astrobotic’s VIPER launch of its larger Griffin lander in 2023. The Intuitive Machines and Masten launches have contracted SpaceX, while ULA’s Vulcan is going to take Astrobotic’s Peregrine vehicle to the moon.