NASA hires SpaceX to develop next lunar lander

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SpaceX has won a contract with NASA to develop the next lunar lander. Under the agreement, Elon Musk’s company will receive a budget of $2.89 billion to create the lander, which is to be used in one of the Artemis missions in 2024.

SpaceX competed for the contract with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Dynetics. Bezos also partnered with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. NASA could have chosen two candidates, but NASA went for one. The mission must take place in 2024, but the interim milestones must be achieved for that. For example, an unmanned mission to the moon will first be carried out.

The lander that SpaceX will provide to NASA will carry supplies and equipment to the moon in addition to two astronauts for a stay of about a week. Therefore, the lander, which SpaceX calls Starship, will also be equipped with protection against the extremely high and low temperatures that occur on the lunar surface. Furthermore, the cabin must be ‘spacious’, according to Musk’s company. The lander should also be able to return to NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

A test flight with Starship SN10, on March 4th

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