According to Jim Bridenstine, the current NASA administrator, three companies will develop, build, and operate lunar landers that will take astronauts to the moon and Mars in the following years.
The three companies which have been selected for the task are SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Dynetics.
An initial 10-month contract will offer $967 million. Lunar landers have been deemed to be the final part of the Artemis initiatives, which seeks to exp, lore the moon in a sustainable manner. There are other major components, including the Orion Spacecraft, the Space Launch System, and the Gateway outpost that will be established in the orbit of the object.
In the upcoming ten months, the company will have the ability to improve and refine their designs. At the end of the period, NASA will pick a lander that will be prioritized and use for the moon mission program. The variant which has the highest potential rates of success will be elected.
NASA’s Plans With Private Contractors
NASA will also employ the Orion capsules and the Space Launch System to send astronauts to the moon. While the concepts are still in the early ages of development, they are already quite different.
The spacecraft envisioned by SpaceX is so tall that astronauts will use an elevator to access the lunar service while the Blue Origin lander will come with a ladder. Dynetics took a different approach, and its lander is so low that astronauts can jump easily to the surface, a feature that was appreciated by NASA.
NASA’s decision to offer a commercial contract is based on the fact that competing companies will finish the project at a faster rate while also offering potential choices, each with advantages and disadvantages that might make a difference in the long run. Several missions and landings have been already planned as the moon is merely the first step on the road towards Mars.