By working with companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the American space agency hopes to accelerate the development of technologies which could be critical for future missions.
These technologies may help NASA land on other planets, navigate the lunar surface, transfer propellant in space and more.
As part of the deal, the space agency will provide expertise, facilities, hardware and software to the companies at no cost.
NASA said that Washington-based Blue Origin will collaborate with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Goddard to develop a navigation and guidance system which will allow for the “safe and precise landing at a range of locations on the Moon.”
Elsewhere, SpaceX will work will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to “advance their technology to vertically land large rockets on the Moon”.
“NASA’s proven experience and unique facilities are helping commercial companies mature their technologies at a competitive pace,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).
“We’ve identified technology areas NASA needs for future missions, and these public-private partnerships will accelerate their development so we can implement them faster.”