The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has signed a contract with Elon Musk’s company SpaceX to build a lander that will take people to the moon.
Why is this important
In addition to the fact that this is not an ordinary trip to the country or to another country, it is also the first landing of people on the moon since 1972. It was then, as part of the Apollo 17 program, that humanity last set foot on the moon. In addition, at least one of the astronauts on the new mission will be a woman. And this will be the first woman to land on the moon.
“During the Apollo program, we proved that it is possible to do the seemingly impossible: land humans on the Moon. By taking a collaborative approach in working with industry while leveraging NASA’s proven technical expertise and capabilities, we will return American astronauts to the Moon’s surface once again, this time to explore new areas for longer periods of time.” said Lisa Watson, Morgan , head of the human system of planting programs in NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
The flight under the lunar program “Artemis” (Artemis) is scheduled for 2024, but it is possible to postpone the dates. First, the astronauts will be taken to the Orion spacecraft in lunar orbit, after which two of them will get to the surface of the Moon on the Starship ship, where they will spend a whole week.
In addition to SpaceX, Jeff Bezos ‘ Blue Origin and Dynetics also participated in the competition. But it was SpaceX that offered the best price offer. Under the contract, NASA will allocate SpaceX $2.9 billion for the project. Of course, in fact, the preparation of the rocket and the ship is more expensive, but part of the cost will be borne by SpaceX.
Elon Musk himself reacted to this news briefly, writing on Twitter “NASA rules!”.
🚀🖤💫 NASA Rules!! 💫🖤🚀 https://t.co/hmeGx2peZ6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 16, 2021