SpaceX wins NASA contract for ARTEMIS lunar landing

SpaceX wins NASA contract for ARTEMIS lunar landing

Science

NASA’s ambitious ARTEMIS project is undoubtedly the great north of aerospace companies that have been developing flight solutions in recent years. Part of the development of this plan involves not only the return of man to the Moon, but also manned explorations to Mars and, taking advantage of these destinations as way stations, initiating human journeys beyond the red planet. In a public competition, NASA designated SpaceX as the chosen one to build the spacecraft that will take man back to the Moon.

According to information shared by NASA in a statement, SpaceX beat out Blue Origin and Dynetics to win the $ 2.9 billion contract, despite the fact that the space agency was expected to choose two companies over one.

In April 2020 SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics were chosen as the contractors applying for the contract to develop human landing systems for the ARTEMIS project. On that occasion, Jim Bridestine – former NASA administrator – noted that this “is the first time since the Apollo era that NASA has had direct funding for a human landing system, and now we have contracted companies to do the work for the Artemis program. “.

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Although SpaceX has already had some problems with the reusable Starship system in recent tests, NASA seems to be sure that Elon Musk’s company is the best qualified to carry out this part of the contract. In addition, it will be an extension of the collaborations between the two institutions, since SpaceX has already been working closely with NASA for trips to and from the International Space Station.

However, the project schedule is under review. Currently, NASA does not have the funds it needs to carry out the mission in 2024, as established during the Donald Trump administration. The agency plans to get a woman and a person of color to the Moon for the first time through the program, and has put together a list of astronauts eligible for the first few missions.