XCOR Aerospace and Masten Space Systems have partnered to jointly pursue the anticipated Nasa-sponsored unmanned lander projects.

The automated lander programme will serve as robotic test beds on Earth, on the lunar surface, Mars, near Earth objects and other interplanetary locales to aid Nasa in developing advanced technology.

Masten will build an automated vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) flight vehicle, while XCOR will develop a liquid oxygen (LOX) / methane-powered propulsion system and non-flammable cryogenically compatible composite tanks to win the Nasa project.