SpaceX got a major boost on Friday. NASA selected the company to build a lander that will help bring humans back to the moon.
The contract, worth $2.9 billion, will see SpaceX develop and built the Human Landing System (HLS) for the Artemis Program. The lander is based on SpaceX’s Starship, which is still undergoing flight tests in Boca Chica, Texas.
In winning the contract, SpaceX beat out space rival Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Dynetics Inc.
This isn’t SpaceX’s only involvement in the Artemis Program. Earlier this year the company was awarded a $331.8 million contract to use the Falcon Heavy rocket to launch the lunar Gateway propulsion system and habitation module into space.
It is from there the lander will take astronauts to the moon.
NASA was originally hoping to land on the moon in 2024, but a lack of funding has delayed that target. Falcon Heavy will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no sooner than May 2024.
— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) April 16, 2021