NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said the agency should leverage industry capabilities to achieve its science and exploration goals and an example of that is the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.
“We want to get robots and landers on the surface of the moon — aggressively, 2019… Definitely by 2020,” Bridenstine told reporters during a roundtable Wednesday.
NASA released a draft solicitation for the program in April and Bridenstine said the agency is assessing industry comments before it can issue the final request for proposals.
He said he believes the agency’s four Earth science missions will continue despite the administration’s plan to terminate those programs in the president’s budget request for fiscal 2019.
Those missions include the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3, CLARREO Pathfinder and PACE.
Bridenstine also cited NASA’s commitment to the James Webb Space Telescope and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope projects in support of its astrophysics missions.