SpaceX wins a NASA contract to deliver astronauts to the lunar surface. This was announced by the head of the program of manned flights of the US space agency Katie Luders.
In the competition at its final stage, Jeff Bezos' company Blue Origin also participated. Moreover, she claimed a contract in association with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper.
NASA reported that the value of the contract is $ 2.89 billion. The agreement provides for the creation of a system for landing a crew on the lunar surface until 2024. But as Luders emphasized, the timing of the start of manned flights will depend solely on NASA's confidence in the safety of the flight for the crew.
According to the concept, four astronauts will travel to the Gateway lunar station in Orion. This ship will be launched from Earth on a super-powerful SLS rocket. Then, from the station, two crew members will travel to the moon on SpaceX's Starship. The way back, NASA said, will be the same.
As noted during the press conference, Luders, the department will continue to discuss strategies for the return of man to the moon in the coming months. She did not rule out that NASA's ability to deliver astronauts to the lunar surface will expand.
The previous administration gave NASA the task of returning a man to the moon in 2024. The lunar program was named “Artemis” and was supported by the administration of the current head of the United States, Joe Biden.
SpaceX has not yet brought the ship to the required condition
Meanwhile with Starship everything is not rosy yet. Recently, a prototype ship exploded during testing in Texas. Starship SN8 launched from the training ground, which is located near the settlement of Boca Chica, on December 9 at 17:45 local time. Five minutes later, the ship reached the target altitude and began to descend smoothly.
The prototype exploded upon landing on the asphalt pad near the launch pad. SpaceX CEO and creator Elon Musk suggests that the ship could have melted parts of one of the Raptor engines.
Starship SN8 is a SpaceX spacecraft with nose cone and fins. As conceived by Elon Musk, the ship is designed for reusable use. And it will be used for future flights to Mars.
His plan to colonize the Red Planet was announced three years ago. This document bears the ambitious title “Project for the creation of an interplanetary species of man”. According to him, the head of Tesla and SpaceX believes that he and his associates will be able to colonize Mars in 50 to 100 years. : ///
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