May 23, 2019 / 7:36 PM / 4 months ago

NASA chooses technology firm Maxar for lunar platform project

MELBOURNE, Fla., May 23 (Reuters) - NASA has picked space technology company Maxar Technologies Inc as the first contractor to help build its Gateway platform in lunar orbit, a crucial outpost for America’s mission to relay astronauts to the moon in 2024, the U.S. agency said on Thursday.

Shares of Westminster, Colorado-based Maxar jumped more than 20% following the announcement by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at a meeting sponsored by a Florida college.

The Trump administration has made a return to the moon a high priority for the U.S. space program, saying the mission would establish a foundation for an eventual journey to put humans on Mars.

Vice President Mike Pence’s March 26 announcement that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to build a space platform in lunar orbit and put American astronauts on the moon’s south pole by 2024 “by any means necessary,” four years earlier than previously planned. (Reporting by Joey Roulette in Melbourne, Florida Writing by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Richard Chang)

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