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SpaceX, Blue Origin Wins NASA Contract to Develop Moonlander Concept for Future Artemis Missions – TechCrunch




NASA has signed a total of $ 146 million in contracts with five companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics, to develop the landing ship concept as part of the Artemis program.

The award includes $ 26.5 million to Blue Origin. $ 40.8 million for Dynetics. $ 35.2 million for Lockheed Martin. $ 34.8 million for Northrop Grumman. $ 9.4 million for SpaceX. Only two companies, Blue Ridge Nebula Starlines and Cook & Chevalier Enterprises, who submitted the proposal, did not receive the contract.

The contract was awarded under NextSTEP-2 (Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership) Appendix N: Research on Sustainable Human Landing Systems and Risk Reduction. The solicitation, announced in early July, aims to contract with potential commercial partners for concept research, maintaining the HLS concept of operational (ground and flight) development, and risk mitigation activities. It states.

This actually means that the selected company will develop a lander design concept, including performing component tests, and evaluate performance, safety, and so on.

These awards are separate from the Human Landing System contract given to SpaceX earlier this year. This was both Blue Origin and Dynetics’ objection to government oversight, which Blue Origin later opposed in a proceeding against NASA.

However, the results of this series of awards may inform future lander development contracts for the rest of the 10-year period. Authorities said the work of these companies would ultimately help shape future NASA recruitment strategies and requirements to provide regular astronaut transport from orbit to the moon. Said in a statement.

The Artemis program was established in 2020 with the aim of not only returning humans to the moon for the first time since the time of Apollo, but also making such trips routine by the late 2020s. NASA doesn’t just stay on the moon. The agency also wants to expand to interplanetary exploration, including manned Mars missions to Mars.




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