NASA has chosen the lunar lander of space company SpaceX for the lunar landings planned later this decade. The US Space Agency hopes to carry out the first manned moon landing since the Apollo missions in 2024.
NASA chose SpaceX lander over designs by Dynetics Inc. and Blue Origin, the space company of tech billionaire Jeff Bezos. The contract for the lunar lander amounts to 2.9 billion dollars, about 2.4 billion euros. The choice was on SpaceX because of the company‘s good performance with the Falcon missile and the manned Dragon capsules.
The design of SpaceX is a modified version of Starship. Prototypes of that spacecraft are currently being tested on a complex in Texas. With the spaceX lander, two people can land on the moon at once. The first moon landing can take place in 2024 if SpaceX reaches its own targets on time.
Space station at the month
The planned lunar landings are part of NASA’s ARTEMIS program. For this purpose, the Orion capsule and a powerful moon rocket, the Space Launch System, have been developed. Together with international partners, NASA wants to build a small space station in orbit around the moon, from which the lunar landings can be carried out.
The first unmanned test flight from the Orion Capsule to the Moon, Artemis 1, is scheduled for the end of this year. Also the lander of SpaceX will first make an unmanned flight to test all systems, has a NASA spokesman.