Each commercial lander will carry NASA-provided payloads that will conduct science investigations and demonstrate advanced technologies on the lunar surface and scout possible locations for future human missions, the statement said.
As part of their submissions, each provider will be flying specific NASA instruments to the lunar surface.
The companies will build moon landers to ferry NASA science experiments and technology demonstrations to the lunar surface.
"The moon has recaptured the world's attention and the golden anniversary of man's first steps on it is the flawless opportunity to deliver new cutting-edge space and science content to our insatiably curious audience", said CuriosityStream president and CEO Clint Stinchcomb, in a statement. Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines, and Orbit Beyond are the lucky winners. Intuitive Machines will fly five payloads on its Nova-C lander, with Orbit Beyond carrying four payloads on its own Z-01 lander.More news: Moto Z4 India Launch: Specifications, Price and Availability
"We want to not only go there, but to grow an industry", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's science mission directorate. The company hopes to launch the lander in June 2021 and land it on the moon in July that year.
Astrobotic would deliver equipment to Lacus Mortis, a large crater on the near side of the moon. Orbit Beyond showed off a small demo rover as well as its lander model during the event NASA held to announce its commercial partners.
Finally, OrbitBeyond from Edison, New Jersey was awarded $97 million.
They also will help prepare the agency to send astronauts to explore Mars. The announcement will air on NASA Television and the agency's website.More news: GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests
The lunar lander set complements Lego's 1,969-piece Saturn V rocket building kit, which was released in 2017. "We look forward to working with them to have our payloads delivered and opening the door for returning humans to the Moon", Culbert stated. All nine companies initially selected in November 2018 for CLPS will be eligible to bid on subsequent task orders.
In this moment when government is viewed by so many Americans as being unable to dream as big as it did in the 1960s, whether the dream is traveling the solar system or forestalling the calamitous effects of climate change, understanding how NASA got us to the Moon the first time is both important and inspirational.
We still use the phrase "If we can put a man on the moon." as a spur to tackle our Earth-bound problems.More news: Neymar resumes Brazil training after injury scare