Tech billionaire Elon Musk‘s SpaceX and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin options within the listing of 5 US corporations NASA chosen for making Moon lander designs, the US house company has mentioned.
NASA has awarded a complete of $146 million for the contracts, beneath the company’s Artemis programme, it mentioned in an announcement. Blue Origin Federation obtained a worth of $25.6 million, whereas SpaceX received $9.4 million.
The very best award worth of $40.8 million was bagged by Dynetics, a Leidos firm, adopted by Lockheed Martin at $35.2 million, and Northrop Grumman at $34.8 million.
Over the subsequent 15 months, the chosen corporations will develop lander design ideas, evaluating their efficiency, design, development requirements, mission assurance necessities, interfaces, security, crew well being lodging, and medical capabilities. The businesses may also mitigate lunar lander dangers by conducting essential element exams and advancing the maturity of key applied sciences.
“Establishing a long-term human presence on the Moon via recurring companies utilizing lunar landers is a serious Artemis purpose,” mentioned Kathy Lueders, NASA’s affiliate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at Headquarters in Washington, within the assertion.
“This essential step lays the inspiration for US management in studying extra concerning the Moon and for studying how you can reside and work in deep house for future missions farther into the photo voltaic system,” Lueders added.
These awards are separate from the Human Touchdown System contract that was given to SpaceX earlier this 12 months — which continues to be beneath dispute to a authorities watchdog.
NASA’s Artemis missions embrace touchdown the primary girl and first particular person of color on the lunar floor, sending a collection of recent science devices and expertise demonstrations to check the Moon, and establishing a long-term presence there.