NASA has selected the lunar module of the space company SpaceX for its lunar landing plan later this month. NASA hopes to conduct the first manned moon landing since the Apollo mission in 2024.
NASA chose the SpaceX lander instead of the Dynetics Inc. design. From the aerospace company Blue Origin of tech billionaire Jeff Bezos. The contract value of the lunar lander is 2.9 billion U.S. dollars, or about 2.4 billion euros. Part of the reason for choosing SpaceX is the company’s outstanding performance in the Falcon rocket and the Crew Dragon capsule.
SpaceX’s design is an improved version of Starship. The prototype of the spacecraft is currently being tested in a complex in Texas. SpaceX’s lander allows two people to land on the moon at the same time. If SpaceX can achieve its goals in time, the earliest moon landing can be carried out as early as 2024.
Lunar space station
The planned moon landing plan is part of NASA’s Armis program. To this end, the Orion space capsule and the powerful lunar rocket “Space Launch System” were also developed. NASA hopes to work with international partners to build a small space station in orbit around the moon from which it can land on the moon.
The first unmanned flight test from the Orion capsule to the moon is planned for the end of this year. A NASA spokesperson said that the SpaceX lander will also first fly unmanned to test all systems.