NASA has picked Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop the primary industrial lander and take the subsequent two US astronauts to the moon, the US house company mentioned on Friday.
The contract is price $2.9 billion and is a part of NASA’s Artemis programme, which goals to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 as a stepping stone to the primary human mission to Mars, DPA information company reported.
SpaceX had been competing in opposition to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ non-public house firm Blue Origin and defence contractor Dynetics.
Musk tweeted “NASA Guidelines!!” in response to the choice.
The SpaceX Starship, which is designed to land on the moon, will embrace a spacious cabin and two airlocks for moonwalks, NASA mentioned.
The aim is to ultimately develop a totally reusable launch and touchdown system that can be utilized for house journey to locations together with the moon and Mars.
The mission will see 4 astronauts launched on NASA’s Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit, the place two of them will switch to the SpaceX human touchdown system for his or her ultimate journey to the moon.
The 2 astronauts will discover the lunar floor for round per week earlier than returning to Earth. They would be the first folks to stroll on the moon for greater than 50 years.
At the least one of many two will likely be a girl. NASA additionally goals to convey the primary individual of color to the moon’s floor as a part of the Artemis programme.
The US introduced 12 astronauts to the moon between 1969 and 1972.