The champion of NASA’s Human Landing System (HLS) contract award is SpaceX, which bid $2.9 billion for the opportunity of developing the means. The project is all about NASA astronauts returning to the lunar surface for the first time since the Apollo program, said a report in Washington Post. SpaceX will exhibit a lander that will put the first woman and person of color on the moon. No human has set foot on Earth’s satellite in nearly 50 years.
- US space agency NASA said recently that it had chosen SpaceX, entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space transportation company, to develop the first commercial lander, which is set to put the first woman and person of color on the moon. One of the competitors for the NASA lunar contract was Blue Origin, created by Jeffrey P. Bezos of Amazon.
- The contract stretches NASA’s trend of relying on private organizations to ferry people, cargo, and robotic astronauts to space. SpaceX now surpasses Blue Origin and other rocket builders, highlighting how it has become the highest-profile partner of NASA in its human spaceflight agenda.
- SpaceX has won a lot of support at NASA by delivering on the Commercial Crew program with a stable, reusable human-rated spacecraft in the Crew Dragon. The Post also says that in counting to its attractive pricing, NASA was fascinated by Starship’s flexibleness and cargo capability since it’s aiming to be able to fly not just humans, but also large amounts of supplies and materials to the moon, and ultimately, beyond.
- While NASA did not present a launch date for the program, Kathy Lueders, the head of the space agency’s human exploration office, indicated that the launch could happen later in the decade. “We’ll do it when it’s safe,” said Lueders.