Companies that NASA chose to partake in Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program have built the machines that will carry all the 16 payloads. The payloads consist of several different science experiments and technology experiments.
Astrobotic, together with Intuitive Machines, built the landers. The plan is to send both of them on the Moon’s surface in 2021, and by doing so, it will help NASA pave the way for the mission to return humans to the Moon by 2024.
Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander
Astrobotic’s Peregrine will launch aboard a rocket provided by the United Launch Alliance (ULA). Here is the list of the payloads for its cargo delivery:
- Surface Exosphere Alterations by Landers (SEAL)
- Photovoltaic Investigation on Lunar Surface (PILS)
- Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer (LETS)
- Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS)
- Mass Spectrometer Observing Lunar Operations (MSolo)
- PROSPECT Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer (PITMS) for Lunar Surface Volatiles
- Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS)
- Neutron Measurements at the Lunar Surface (NMLS)
- Fluxgate Magnetometer (MAG)
Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander
Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Here is the list of the payloads for its cargo delivery:
- Lunar Node 1 Navigation Demonstrator (LN-1)
- Stereo Cameras for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies (SCALPSS)
- Low-frequency Radio Observations for the Near Side Lunar Surface (ROLSES)
Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program Is Ready to Roll
Astrobotic’s Peregrine and Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C payloads are being developed by NASA to ensure a successful landing of the spacecraft on the dead volcanoes ground. The building of robust lunar landing systems is essential; therefore, this project’s success is critical, and it will have a significant impact in supporting Artemis through the return of human astronauts to the Moon and even further away.
According to NASA, the companies that could probably provide payload transportation services through the CLPS program are 14 in number. The CLPS project will hopefully help NASA to launch two missions every year.