The agency hopes to introduce new technologies that can provide heavy loads on the lunar surface. NASA pointed out in its conference call that the agency needed to send a "scientific and technical payload" to the moon's South Pole, and that the company it chose would help implement the Artemis program that ultimately sent humans to the moon.
In the decades since the manned people landed on the moon, NASA’s budget has fallen dramatically. In order to get the most out of it, NASA is increasingly relying on business partners to come up with cost-effective scientific methods.
“Our business partners are helping us advance the moon science in ways we never had before,” NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement. “As we offer a wider range of opportunities for commercial suppliers through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, we are expanding our capabilities to enable new measurement and technology developments that scientists have been hoping to make on the moon.”
NASA hopes that the agency will be able to launch its next manned mission to the moon by 2024. As the United States announced plans to re-implement human landing on the moon within five years, NASA is trying to meet demand.