For the mission, including can use the Russian “Union”.
NASA has asked aerospace companies to begin developing designs for ships that will bring people to the moon. The ministry is going to test the vehicles in 2024 and land the first crew on the surface of the satellite in 2028.
As explained by the head of NASA, Jim Brydenstein, the agency intends to not just return, but “stay” on the moon. According to him, now speed is the priority of the lunar mission.
We want the devices to be reused so that they are reliable, but we also want to do everything quickly. It is important that we return to the moon as quickly as possible.
As noted in The Verge, Trump signed the SPD-1 directive back in December 2017 , which allowed NASA to work on the project. However, since then the agency has not come too close to the goal, but now it has begun to act more decisively.
In March 2019, the agency will send formal requests for the development of ships for the Moon to aerospace companies. Only two months after that, NASA plans to conclude contracts with contractors for amounts ranging from 300 thousand dollars to 9 million dollars. According to Brydenstein, the agency is open for commercial offers of companies like SpaceX, and for the ideas of space departments of other countries.
In addition to returning to the moon, NASA decided to speed up the project of sending small research vehicles to the satellite. According to the program, nine companies will develop small devices that can transport scientific equipment to the moon. It will include tools for the study of the satellite surface on the subject of ice ice and not only.
According to NASA’s common lunar program, the agency plans to build a Gateway space station in orbit for the Moon, designed for 15 years of operation. It will serve as a “transit point” where astronauts can live and train. From the “Gate” they will be able to get to the surface of the planet on the landing modules to take samples, and then return to the station.
NASA plans to use several different spacecraft to deliver people to and from the “Gates”: for flight to a low lunar orbit, for landing on the satellite surface and for returning back. The agency has not yet decided which ships will be used.
As a backup transport system consider the Russian “Union”. According to NASA, domestic ships represent a “huge advantage” when servicing the ISS and systems that differ from each other can be useful when the Moon is mastered.