US space agency Nasa has contracted private aerospace firm Firefly Aerospace for Artemis commercial moon delivery in 2023.

The $93.3m contract is part of the Nasa Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

As part of the latest contract, which is the sixth lunar surface delivery contract under the CLPS initiative, Firefly Aerospace will provide suite of ten science investigations and technology demonstrations to the moon in 2023.

The company will provide end-to-end delivery services, including payload integration, launch from the earth, landing on the moon, and mission operations.

Nasa headquarters Washington science associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said: “We’re excited another CLPS provider has won its first task order award. With this initiative, we seek to develop ways for new science and technology development, utilising a service-based model.

“This allows US vendors to not only demonstrate their ability to safely deliver payloads to our celestial neighbour but also expand this capability for others who want to take advantage of this cutting-edge approach to explore the moon.”

For Firefly Aerospace, it is the first delivery contract and it will provide the lunar delivery service, using its Blue Ghost lander.

The company has designed and developed the lander at its Cedar Park facility, which will also serve as the 2023 delivery’s mission operations centre.

Last month, Nasa and the Government of Japan finalised an agreement for the lunar Gateway.