Science & Tech

CLPS Initiative: First Commercial Robotic Moon Mission from the United States

  • A commercial US firm launched a spacecraft carrying NASA sensors with the goal of becoming the first US spacecraft to land on the Moon in well than 50 years.
  • This mission is an important part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, which integrates private sector capabilities into the Artemis Programme.


  • The Initiative for Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS)
  • At least 14 firms have been contracted to carry payloads to the Moon as part of NASA’s engagement with the private sector under the CLPS effort.
  • This collaboration intends to create a business and technological environment for lunar exploration in the commercial space sector.
  • The Peregrine lander and the Vulcan rocket, both created by private US space corporations, are used in the mission.

Payloads and objectives

  • Five NASA Payloads: The Peregrine lander is equipped with five NASA payloads for diverse exploratory purposes, including water discovery.
  • Laser Retroreflector Array: One payload will be permanently installed on the Moon’s surface for accuracy distance measurements.
  • Other payloads are projected to stay operational for 10 days after landing.

Return to the Moon in Historical Context

  • The last US spacecraft to land on the Moon occurred in December 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.
  • Renewed Interest in Lunar Exploration: The United States revived its lunar exploration activities in the 1990s and publicly promised to returning in 2018.
  • The Artemis Program’s goals are to create a permanent base on the Moon, allowing for prolonged human and robotic stays for significant exploration and scientific study.
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.