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NASA Chooses Payloads for Potential Lunar Experiments; Jim Bridenstine Quoted

NASA has identified 12 payload projects that would undergo experiments and demonstrations on the moon by the end of 2019.

The space agency said Friday its Science Mission Directorate sourced for proposals to support a number of experiment-reliant science and technology goals.

“The Moon has unique scientific value and the potential to yield resources such as water and oxygen,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator.

“Its proximity to Earth makes it especially valuable as a proving ground for deeper space exploration," he added.

Participants for the effort include nine U.S. companies and various NASA facilities including Glenn Research Center and Marshall Space Flight Center.

The space agency's centers will work to build payloads, while the industry firms will build corresponding delivery landers.

The Linear Energy Transfer Spectrometer, among selected projects, is designed to measure the moon's radiation environment.

The Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System, an imaging instrument, would work to quantify the composition of the moon's surface.

The effort would also include technology demonstrations such as the Lunar Node 1 Navigation Demonstrator that would generate a beacon to help orbiting spacecraft and landers navigate through the moon.

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