Bezos' space company designing large lunar lander

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NASA has signed an agreement with the Israel Space Agency and the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL to collaborate on the Jewish state's unmanned moon mission slated to launch from Cape Canaveral next year, Israelnationalnews reports.

Exposure to galactic cosmic radiation during deep space travel, such as to Mars, might significantly damage gastrointestinal functions in astronauts, say researchers, led by one of an Indian-origin. Space.com notes that the expendable lunar lander that NASA used during the Apollo program carried two astronauts and weighed 4.7 tons without propellant.

The system works with the lunar Gateway spacecraft that remains in orbit around the Moon, enabling the lander to be refueled in orbit and then sent back down for more missions. According to a lunar mineralogical map released by NASA previous year, water is present nearly everywhere on the moon's surface, albeit in minute amounts.

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South Korea's proposal is a noteworthy effort to break the diplomatic stalemate between North Korea and the United States. Meanwhile, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, who was in Beijing from Monday after attending the U.N.

"The Gateway is key to full, frequent and fast reusability of this lander", said Tim Cichan, space exploration architect at Lockheed Martin Space, who presented the lander concept at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany. Much of the hardware will be modeled on Lockheed's future deep-space crew capsule Orion, which the company has been developing for NASA and which reportedly costs $20 billion. Important quantities of water can be found on the moon's polar region, which missions in the future can use to create fuel and oxygen for a manned outpost.

Earlier this week, Blue Origin announced it is partnering with the European Space Agency, Airbus and other companies for an worldwide "Moon Race" competition, encouraging groups to develop sustainable technology for a lunar base. First of all, Gateway needs to be deployed, and for this happen NASA needs to launch the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket humans have ever built.

According to the new agreement, which was announced on Wednesday, NASA will contribute a laser retroreflector array to aid with ground tracking and support in mission communication.

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