The last month, the space agency unveiled 16 scientific experiments and technology demonstrations that will hitch a ride to the moon aboard landers built by two private companies: Astrobotic of Pittsburgh and Intuitive Machines LLC of Houston.

The two landers are slated to launch in July 2021 on United Launch Alliance's Vulcan Centaur rocket and Space X's Falcon 9, respectively. 🛰️

Astrobotic's Peregrine lander will carry instruments to study several aspects of the moon's environment. This work will help prepare for the arrival of astronauts and the establishment of a sustainable human presence on and around Earth's nearest neighbor, one of the chief goals of NASA's Artemis program.

The latter experiment is critical to planning for missions to Mars, where NASA wants to send astronauts in the 2030s.🚀