'We want multiple providers that are competing on cost and innovation, Bridenstine said.
The nine companies range from startups to aerospace giants, reported Space News, which added that while they are eligible for future contracts to deliver payloads to the surface of the moon, there is "no guarantee of business for any of them".
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that Musk is committed to safety as anybody and he understands that smoking pot publicly was not appropriate.
Talking about Musk's past behaviour, Bridenstine said he had spoken with Musk. The company is also developing advanced space robotics capabilities such as terrain relative navigation, mobile robotics for lunar surface operations, and reliable computing systems for mission-critical applications.
All those willing to be paid by NASA to send cargo to the Moon will have to do so regularly as part of the new Commercial Lunar Payload Services.
The Exploration Campaign builds on a steady cadence of development, starting now, to enable early access to the surface of the Moon and begin assembling the Gateway in lunar orbit. The craft will be created to land on the moon, acquire soil samples, and return them to Earth.
NASA's Exploration Campaign includes USA leadership in low-Earth orbit, in orbit around the Moon and on its surface, and at destinations far beyond, including Mars.
Trump warns border wall fight could lead to government shutdown
To enter the U.S. legally, migrants must apply for asylum, but the wait for those requests to be processed can last up to a year. Some said they remained determined to cross, even after the results of Sunday's march to the border.
Landing actual astronauts on the Moon probably won't happen until the end of the 2020s, NASA has said. In addition, Orbit Beyond will use the lander developed by Team Indus, the India-based company that was one of the prize's finalists. "That foil collected material from the sun and provided the best measurements of the sun we had for the next 25 years".
"We're going at high speed", said Zurbuchen.
Both companies have been contracted to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, but have suffered setbacks and delays as their work to develop their spacecraft.
Under Space Policy Directive-1, the agency will lead an innovative and sustainable exploration of the Moon together with commercial and global partners. The first missions could launch next year, as NASA only recently called for proposals for experiments to study the Moon. "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints - we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, worlds beyond".
NASA's going back to the moon.
America's next Moon landing will be made by private companies - not NASA. NASA is now working with commercial partners to carry astronauts to and from the space station.
Artist's depiction of Masten's XL-1 lander on the surface of the Moon.