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Monday, May 10, 2021

“SpaceX” contracts with “NASA” to build a lander on the moon worth $ 2.9 billion

SpaceX, owned by American businessman Elon Musk, has won a contract worth $ 2.89 billion from NASA to build a spacecraft that will land astronauts on the surface of the moon, in one of the most prominent commercial space race awards.

On Friday, NASA chose the rocket company, SpaceX, as the sole contractor to build its next lunar probe, and to conduct one exploratory visit to the moon, most likely by 2024.

SpaceX, owned by American businessman Elon Musk, has won a contract worth $ 2.89 billion from NASA to build a spacecraft that will land astronauts on the surface of the moon, in one of the most prominent commercial space race awards.

On Friday, NASA chose the rocket company, SpaceX, as the sole contractor to build its next lunar probe, and to conduct one exploratory visit to the moon, most likely by 2024.

SpaceX has offered to build and operate its landing craft for $ 2.9 billion, which is “significantly” less than the bid of a competitor from Bezos Blue Origin missile company, affiliated with billionaire Jeff Bezos, according to the Financial Times, citing a document. NASA. ”

According to the newspaper, the selection of “NASA” as a sole contractor for the most important elements of its space program reflects the severe budgetary pressures under which the agency is working, as it is trying to return to the moon for the first time since 1972.

“We awarded the contract to SpaceX in view of what we believe are realistic budgets in the coming years,” said agency official Mark Kyrasisch.

Besides pioneering a new era of fixed-cost commercial space programs for NASA, SpaceX was the first to transport cargo to the International Space Station. And last year, human spaceflight returned to US soil for the first time since 2011, when it received “NASA” astronauts, to the International Space Station.

NASA officials said they are embarking on a review of how to maintain their competitiveness in light of the development of human landers, including a round of consultations with the rest of the commercial space industry, noting that the discussions are designed to lead to a “sustainable” series of visits to the moon. In the wake of SpaceX’s only test landing.

Although SpaceX plans to eventually use the spacecraft on a full flight between Earth and Mars, its role in the landing announced, Friday, will only be to transport two astronauts from orbit around the moon to the surface before returning them.

This mission is part of NASA’s Artemis program, which will use the giant SLS rocket, developed by Boeing, along with the Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin, to transport astronauts to and from a “gateway” in orbit. Around the moon.

The newspaper reported that “SpaceX” has suffered a number of accidents this year in its first efforts to prove its ability to land safely in spacecraft.

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