Elon Musk’s space exploration company SpaceX won a contract worth $2.9 Billion from NASA for moon lander. Musk left behind Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and defence contractor Dynetics Inc in the bid. After the victory Elon Musk said “NASA rules”.
According to Forbes, first time since 1972, the world’s first and third richest people: Jeff Bezos & Elon Musk respectively were in a bid to put humans back to the Moon. In this contract deal Elon’s company stood on its own while Jeff’s company Blue Origin decided to partner with some leading firms such as Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp, Draper and also Dynetics which is a unit of Leidos Holdings Inc.
According to NASA, the $2.9 Billion contract which was awarded to SpaceX will be used by Elon’s company to make spacecraft called Starship which can be helpful in landing astronauts to the moon prior 2024.
Under the Artemis program, the U.S based space agency presented the contract for the first commercial human lander. Adding to it, NASA said that the lander will be taking off with two American astronauts on the Moon’s surface.
During this video conference announcement event, NASA’s acting administrator Steve Jurczyk said, “We should accomplish the next landing as soon as possible, if they hit their milestones; we have a shot at 2024”.
NASA elaborated that SpaceX’s spacecraft will have two airlocks for astronaut’s comfortable walk on the moon and also ample of space in the spaceship’s cabin.
The spacecraft’s architecture has been customized in a way that it can be evolved in a reusable launch and landing system, which can be further used to explore more of the planets like Mars, Moon and other destinations.
The ultimate spacecraft in the process called ‘Starship’ is also the core of Elon’s plan to land the first ever human on Mars. According to a NASA official Lisa Watson- Morgan “Before humans make their journey to the Moon, SpaceX will be needed to make a test flight of the lander”.
NASA is keeping a keen eye on the private companies who are built around on the common vision of exploring the space.
The company is aiming starship for the long-run, which can create a regular service to the moon, which in the future will be having a different competition for particular contract. NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Advanced Exploration Systems division Mark Kirasich said, “We have to be able to provide for recurring lunar services.”
SpaceX took over twitter to respond NASA by saying –
NASA has selected Starship to land the first astronauts on the lunar surface since the Apollo program! We are humbled to help @NASAArtemis usher in a new era of human space exploration → https://t.co/Qcuop33Ryz pic.twitter.com/GN9Tcfqlfp
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 16, 2021
In a recent news release NASA said SpaceX’s HLS Starship, designed to land on the moon, “leans on the company’s tested Raptor engines and flight heritage of the Falcon and Dragon vehicles.” An crew less SpaceX Starship prototype rocket failed to land safely on March 30 after a test launch from Boca Chica, Texas.