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A NASA picture taken by US crew commander Eugene A. Cernan, on December 13, 1972 shows astronaut and geologist Harrison H. Schmitt seated in the Lunar Roving Vehicle. Such a framework must include modules with life support systems and radiation protection for accommodation of astronauts, centers of space monitoring of the Earth, the means of energy supply and communications, space stands for experiments for the processing and use of lunar substances and of natural resources, stands for the development and testing of new space vehicles and technologies.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine described the announcement as "tangible progress in America's return to the Moon's surface to stay".

Those companies are Astrobotic, Deep Space Systems, Firefly Aerospace, Intuitive Machines, Lockheed Martin, Mastern Space Systems, Moon Express, Draper and Orbit Beyond. It is an experimental part of the agency's plan for Americans to orbit the Moon starting in 2023, and land astronauts on the surface no later than the late 2020s.

Bridenstine said he has spoken with Musk recently that he does not want Nasa contractors engaging in questionable behaviour.

"These early commercial delivery missions will also help inform new space systems we build to send humans to the Moon in the next decade", said NASA.

Lunar payloads could fly on these contracted missions as early as 2019.

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The space agency has predicted human presence on the moon within a decade, joining landers and rovers working there, Bridenstine said.

In December 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1, wherein the President directed NASA "to lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and worldwide partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities".

NASAs Science Mission Directorate (SMD) initiated the request for proposals leading to these selections as the first step in achieving a variety of science and technology objectives that could be addressed by regularly sending instruments, experiments and other small payloads to the Moon.

Russia plans to deploy on the moon manned base and build a Observatory, the Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences space supported these projects, said Wednesday the Agency TASS source in the space industry. This came after discussions were held on the country's long-term space program.

NASA boss Jim Bridenstine has told reporters that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoking week on a podcast "was not appropriate behavior".