NASA awards SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract for lunar lander
For the first time in five decades, SpaceX has been awarded a $2.89 billion NASA contract to develop spacecraft that will land astronauts on the moon.
The fixed-price deal is a significant vote of confidence for Elon Musk’s rocket business, as the space agency is entrusting SpaceX with a significant portion of its main human spaceflight program, Artemis.
SpaceX was successful in its bid to use a spacecraft that it is already constructing in South Texas.
Last year, NASA awarded SpaceX and Blue Origin’s “National Team” three separate contracts for lunar lander production, with the intention that the companies will work together to bring operational vehicles to fruition and compete on price and technology.
Another main component of the Artemis program is the Space Launch System, or SLS, a massive rocket that will take the Orion crew capsule to the moon.
Until astronauts travel aboard, SpaceX will be expected to perform an uncrewed demonstration flight, landing Starship on the moon, according to NASA.
Source: Tech Gist