Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk Scoops Contracts for Landing NASA Astronauts on the Moon

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk Scoops Contracts for Landing NASA Astronauts on the Moon

July 29, 2020 0 By Stephen Callahan

NASA has selected Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to come up with technology to take human beings to the moon. The United States government space agency remarked that the two firms and aerospace veteran Dynetics would individually establish their systems in parallel, ready for the first return of humanity to the moon since 1972. The United States President Donald Trump posed a challenge for the completion of the lunar mission by 2024. The United States government space agency chose the three firms out of a broader field, which entailed beleaguered competitor Boeing.

Contract Issuance by NASA

The mixed £768m ($967m) contracts will see each of the three firms develop their moon landers with a complete payout depending on the firms hitting several milestones over ten months. Jim Bridenstine, a NASA administrator, stated that it was the final piece needed to get people on the moon. In the following ten months, every firm will refine its idea, and NASA will choose which lander to begin testing. Jim Bridenstine remarked that NASA would go with the firm that has the highest likelihood for a successful mission by 2024.

SpaceX led by Elon Musk put forward the Super Heavy launcher and Starship spacecraft. The Super Heavy launched is the most massive rocket made to take human beings to Mars and beyond. Jeff Bezos will establish its New Glenn rocket, which is its most significant, and the Integrated Lander Vehicle.

Rival Firms Bidding Space Contract

The two other firms, Vivace and Boeing, placed their bids, although they were eliminated in the initial phases, leaving the three awarded contracts. Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin received over half the aggregate amount of $579 million, which was more than four times the $135 million given to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. In between was Dynetics that received $253 million. Starship lander, the proposed from Elon Musk’s SpaceX is very tall such that astronauts will utilize an elevator to make movements to and from the lunar surface.

According to artistic renderings, the version of Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin comes with a high ladder. The Dynetics lander is designed so low to the ground that only a couple of steps are required, such as a front porch, which is a feature that NASA provided high marks for efficiency and safety. SpaceX is utilizing its Starship spacecraft, which is still undergoing construction in Texas along with its rockets. Dynetics and Blue Origin are forming a partnership with several subcontractors such as commercial launch firms.

Promoting Sustainability Measures

Jim Brindestine stated that going commercial will push costs down and, at the same time, increase access. Such a move would build off the commercial cargo in NASA and crew programs for the International Space Station. Most recently, Blue Origin and SpaceX were among the firms that got the contract deals with shipping cargo to the moon. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is set to launch its early crewed flight in the coming days.

It is expected to take two astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA targets to make the new Artemis moon-landing program a lot more sustainable. As opposed to Apollo, it will have many locations and several missions on the lunar surface.

Officials mentioned that whereas only one firm will carry the next man and first woman to the lunar surface, all the three will take part in the long-term. Jim Brindestine noted that through learning how to work and live in another world such as the moon, NASA would be better placed to send astronauts to Mars ultimately.

The Takeaway

In a teleconference with reporters, Elon Musk welcomed this possibility for an incredibly enthralling future in space with the lunar surface and eventually sending individuals and having a city that is self-sustaining on Mars. Kim Doering, the vice president of space systems at Dynetics, stated that her team was excited about the long-term lunar economy and the mission in 2024. Bob Smith, chief executive at Blue Origin, referred to it as a historic day. He added that the primary reason for getting into the business was to go to the moon.