NASA awarded billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space business SpaceX a $2.9 billion (approximately Rs. 21,616 crores) contract to construct a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the moon as early as 2024, the agency stated on Friday, picking it over Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as well as defense contractor Dynetics.
Bezos and Musk – the world’s very first and third wealthiest individuals specifically, according to Forbes – were competing to lead humankind’s return to the moon for the first time sine 1972.
Musk’s SpaceX bid alone while Amazon founder Bezos’s Blue Origin partnered with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and also Draper. Dynetics is an unit of Leidos Holdings.
The United States space agency (NASA) granted the contract for the very first commercial human lander, part of its Artemis program. NASA stated the lander will bring two American astronauts to the lunar surface area.
NASA stated SpaceX’s Starship consists of a sizable cabin as well as 2 airlocks for astronaut moon walks and that its design is intended to develop to a fully multiple-use launch and also landing system designed for traveling to the Moon, Mars and also other destinations in space.
Unlike the Apollo Landings from 1969 to 1972 – the only visits to the moon’s surface – NASA is gearing up for a longer-term lunar presence that it visualizes as a steppingstone to an even more ambitious plan to send astronauts to Mars. NASA is leaning greatly on personal companies built around shared visions for space exploration.
SpaceX will certainly be needed to make a test flight of the lander to the moon before humans make the trip, NASA official Lisa Watson-Morgan told reporters.