Press Release

NASA is not the only company that shows interest in the lunar neighborhood. 

As the agency of America anticipates returning humans to the lunar surface in 2024, they will bring along a suite of commercial landers and support cars to give value to the mission. The United States of America air force has shown interest in being there. 

The Small Business Innovation Research program of The Air Force released a list of topics of interest in December 10, this is with inclusion of proposals for technologies expected to operate in “cislunar space” that is to say in the past the orbit region of geosynchronous communications satellites that keep earthlings in a contact constant with each other. 

As the space far from geosynchronous orbit gets more crowded and competitive, it is crucial for the Air Force to extend its space domain awareness responsibilities to add this fresh regime, the pre-solicitation due on February 12. They stated that the Air force is looking for commercial innovation in aid of space domain awareness for cislunar operations in the future.  

The Air Force has interests in items like navigation, providing information of objects of orbits in the zone, and developing sensors for domain awareness of the region. This means knowing who is out there and where they are operating exactly. That should not come as a surprise because the Air Force also monitors satellites that are very close to Earth for items like anti-collision measures. 

The solicitation is because of NASA’s engagement in a new “moon rush”, spurred by the administration of Trump directive in the last year to take back humans to the moon by 2024. The agency has requested some firms to participate in the activities of the moon through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program.  This will enable them to work with huge integrators on items like the forth-coming Gateway lunar space station. 

There are some disadvantages linked with the government financing in part because the administration of Trump is in the previous year of its mandate, but the administrator of NASA has Jim Bridenstine stated repeatedly he is planning to go fast in order to minimize technical and programmatic risk. NASA is requesting international partners to participate in Gateway and the operations of the moon and has received commitments and interest coming from European Space Agency and Canada in doing so. 

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