NASA has selected three companies to develop new devices that will participate in a mission to the moon in 2024. The agency announced that it has signed contracts with SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Dynetics – they will design an astronaut landing system for the moon for the Artemis program. In the future, companies will develop a long-term presence on the Earth’s satellite.
“The United States is taking the last steps to land astronauts on the moon by 2024. We are thrilled that this moment will come very soon, ”said NASA Administrator Jim Brydenstein.
These contracts will begin to operate in May 2020 – in total they will provide companies with $967 million for the first ten months of operation. NASA announced these conditions in September 2019, when it began to accept applications for the competition.
SpaceX will focus on creating a Starship device that can send astronauts to other celestial bodies. It will launch from Earth with the help of a huge Super Heavy rocket, but the spacecraft will land on the Moon and Mars and will launch from there on its own, without using any other devices.
Blue Origin will lead the design of the three-stage system, which will include a lander, a lift vehicle, and a transfer stage. Dynetics will build additional tools for the ascent and descent system.