NASA hires three companies to send equipment to Moon from 2020

One of Lego’s newly released kits features NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket

One of Lego’s newly released kits features NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket

Now, you'll be able to re-enact the historic landing using Lego bricks, as Lego has unveiled a 1,087-piece Lego Creator Expert NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander kit to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 mission.

Intuitive Machines is one of three companies announced today that will land NASA science experiments on the moon within the next two years.

"Our selection of these USA commercial landing service providers represents America's return to the moon's surface for the first time in decades, and it's a huge step forward for our Artemis lunar exploration plans", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a news release.

We've known that NASA wants to bring humans back to the moon for some time now, but the organization has finally started to take concrete steps toward making that a reality lately.

NASA said it will decide exactly which experiments to send on the landers by the end of summer 2019. The company hopes to launch the lander in June 2021 and land it on the moon in July that year.

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Intuitive Machines of Houston has been awarded $77 million.

Orbit Beyond will land in Mare Imbrium, a lava plain in a lunar crater, by September 2020, after being launched by one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets.

Astrobotic, which is based in Pittsburgh, will target Lacus Mortis, a large crater on the near side of the Moon, by July 2021. LEGO is also preparing for those flights with Mars Exploration building sets. "Investing in these commercial landing services also is another strong step to build a commercial space economy beyond low-Earth orbit", Bridenstine said. Orbit Beyond showed off a small demo rover as well as its lander model during the event NASA held to announce its commercial partners. The material will conduct science investigations and demonstrate advanced technologies on the lunar surface. Lego said its designers visited NASA space centers while developing the set in order to more mirror the space agency's rocket and other equipment. The United States last sent a crewed mission to the Moon in 1972, the year of the final Apollo mission.

The advanced LEGO set features a detailed replica of the Eagle lunar lander with separate ascent and descent stages, plus a depiction of the lunar surface with crater, footprints and a USA flag, Apollo 11 Lunar lander nameplate and golden elements. For now, NASA has allocated $2.6 billion for the CLPS program over the next decade, and each of the nine companies will receive at least $25,000 for their participation.

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