SpaceX reportedly beats Bezos’ Blue Origin in NASA contest to construct astronaut lunar lander

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk raises his arms in celebration beneath a Starship rocket prototype beneath development in Boca Chica, Texas.

Steve Jurvetson on flickr

Elon Musk’s SpaceX beat out groups led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Leidos subsidiary Dynetics to win a virtually $3 billion contract to construct NASA’s subsequent crewed lunar lander, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

NASA last year awarded the three teams with $967 million and 10-month contracts to start work on the lunar lander ideas beneath its Human Touchdown Techniques, or HLS, program. SpaceX was awarded the least quantity of these three, with $135 million. In the meantime, Dynetics acquired $253 million and Blue Origin received $579 million.

SpaceX’s contract on this newest contest is price $2.9 billion, The Publish reported, citing a NASA supply choice doc.

NASA was anticipated to decide on two of the three groups, making the only real collection of SpaceX a shock given the company’s prior objectives for this system to proceed to be a contest.

For the HLS program, Musk’s firm bid a variation of its Starship rocket, prototypes of which SpaceX has been testing at its growth facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The corporate has carried out a number of profitable check flights of Starship to this point, though touchdown makes an attempt after the final 4 high-altitude flights resulted in quite a lot of fiery explosions.

HLS is part of NASA’s Artemis mission to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.

The mission was introduced by President Donald Trump’s administration. President Joe Biden’s press secretary has indicated the present administration expects to proceed with Artemis.

Bezos’ house firm unveiled its plans to construct a crewed lunar lander in 2019, saying it will associate with business giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper within the effort. Leidos-owned Dynetics teamed up with Sierra Nevada Company for its idea and was seen as a dark horse in the race.

NASA is planning to make an announcement in regards to the HLS program afterward Friday, the company’s appearing administrator Steve Jurczyk mentioned earlier within the day.