“Today, we are all excited to announce that we have given SpaceX the construction of our moon landing system,” said Lisa Watson Morgan, NASA Project Manager. The $ 2.89 billion contract is a major vote of confidence for SpaceX, which will be given significant responsibility for the Artemis program. This wants to send people to the moon again 50 years later.
SpaceX won the bid from NASA with a proposal to use the Starship rocket for the lunar mission. The rocket can be reused and can, according to SpaceX, bring larger groups of people to the moon, Mars, and other planets.
The announcement is a blow to Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s rocket company. This suggested developing the lunar landing system “as a national team” with various partners such as aircraft manufacturer Lockhead Martin.
Musk, who is also the CEO of auto maker Tesla, co-founded SpaceX with the ultimate goal of getting people to travel to Mars. In recent years, the company has caused quite a stir by launching test missions for missiles and spacecraft at full speed. This had the added effect of increasing enthusiasm for space travel again.
NASA last sent astronauts to the moon in 1972. That year, the US Apollo space travel program ended. In 2007, NASA launched a sequel to this program with Artemis.