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Private enterprise will help NASA return to the moon

A NASA picture taken by U.S. crew commander Eugene A. Cernan on Dec. 13, 1972, shows astronaut and geologist Harrison H. Schmitt seated in the Lunar Roving Vehicle. The last manned U.S. spacecraft to touch down on the moon was Apollo 17. Eugene A. Cernan/AFP/Getty Images

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NASA is moving forward with plans to put the U.S. back in the business of moon visits. The last manned U.S. spacecraft to touch down on the moon was Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that nine private-sector aerospace companies, including Lockheed Martin, will develop the spacecraft and technology to get the U.S. back to the moon. NASA has long contracted with major U.S. aerospace companies to help develop and build spacecraft, but in recent years, Alan Boyle at Geekwire says, the business model has shifted in a big way.

“NASA is putting more of the risk on commercial ventures,” Boyle explained. 

The commercial partners announced today will develop their own spacecrafts to get NASA’s payloads, and those of other customers, into space.

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