This was written by Jim Breidenstein on his Twitter page.
For the new missions, the company said it will use its uncrewed lander, Artemis-7, to complete sample selection and return, contribute to plans for the eventual return of humans to the moon's surface.
NASA Watch's Keith Cowing noted the announcement echoed a similar one 15 years ago in the same room to return to the moon, without much progress since.
In December, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, giving NASA a new direction: "The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery".
"The reality is, we're getting ready to launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil for the first time since 2011, and we want to make sure we have a cultural assessment, a safety assessment of each of our providers", he said. CLPS will enable the first NASA payloads to be soft-landed on the lunar surface since the Apollo Program, and open a new era in science and exploration with regular commercial deliveries of uncrewed payload to the lunar surface.
NASA plans to award about $2.6 billion over the course of 10 years that the companies can compete for.
Zurbuchen said Thursday that a mobile lunar laboratory remains one of NASA's goals for Moon exploration, though such a mission would likely be developed through a more traditional process.
"We're going at high speed", said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA's science mission directorate, which will lead the effort.More news: Bears could be without Trubisky vs. Lions
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"I will tell you that was not helpful", Bridenstine told assembled reporters at a press gathering at NASA HQ.
'We're taking shots at goal here, we want it to happen fast'. They could also help NASA scout and study potential locations for bases, particularly in the eternally shadowed craters near the moon's poles that are filled with frozen water.
Astrobotic Technology has built a lander called Peregrine, and have obtained backing from NASA to create a standalone system to land on the moon.
Astronaut Stan Love revealed NASA was developing systems for astronaut training.
One of the key elements for NASA's future missions to Mars will be to use the moon as the gateway.
"At the end of the decade, we envision a continuous presence of landers, rovers, and robots on the surface of the moon, but not necessarily humans", he added.
When asked by The Atlantic about NASA's relationship with Musk, Bridenstine said that he had personally talked with Musk.