90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Volusia Lunar Lander Company Withdraws From NASA Contract

Photo: Orbit Beyond

A company with plans to build a robotic lander in Daytona Beach has lost a $97 million contract from NASA.

Private company OrbitBeyond won the contract from NASA earlier this year to send a new moon lander to the lunar surface.

But in a statement, NASA said OrbitBeyond asked to terminate the contract, citing “internal corporate challenges that will prevent the timely completion of its awarded task order.” The agency said OrbitBeyond is still eligible for future contracts under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program.

ObritBeyond is based in New Jersey, but had plans to expand in Volusia County to build the robotic moon lander.

NASA selected two other companies for the first round of moon deliveries — and says its on track to land the first science experiments in 2021.

“We know that CLPS missions are going to be challenging for various reasons, and they may not always succeed,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. “We’re willing to accept some risk in order to get back to the Moon quickly, with commercial partners, and do exciting science and technology development with broad applications.”

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »