NASA has big plans for the moon. From sending the first crewed mission to land on its surface in 50 years to setting up a space station in orbit, the agency has multiple missions planned for exploring our planet’s satellite. These include partnerships with a number of private companies as well as NASA-developed projects, such as under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, program which will contract out the transportation of small payloads to the moon.

This week, NASA announced it has selected the company Firefly Aerospace to develop a commercial lander for the far side of the moon. The lander, called Blue Ghost, will be used to deliver several NASA payloads to the moon, including a radio observation mission which is placed on the far side of the moon to minimize the radio noise coming from Earth. This natural radio quiet zone will let the Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment-Night (LuSEE-Night) telescope detect faint radio waves from an early period of the universe known as the cosmic dark ages.

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