SpaceX will not be enough: to send the moon back, it will take another lander

SpaceX will not be enough: to send the moon back, it will take another lander

NASA announces launches call for second company to develop lunar lander SpaceX has already been selected for 2021.

SpaceX will not be the only US company to deposit astronauts on the moon on behalf of NASA. Another company will be called in to carry the crew between the lunar station, the orbit around the satellite and the surface. This was announced by the American Space Agency on March 23. In a press release.

This expansion is part of the Artemis program, the name given by NASA to its program to return to the moon. Artemis won the famous Apollo expedition, the 17th and last of which took place fifty years ago in 1972. The United States had long planned to return there. The stated goal for the 2020 decade and to achieve it.

In a few more years the astronauts will come to the moon. // Source: Natalio

Lander for lunar travel after 2025

In particular, and as part of the workforce between NASA and the private sector, SpaceX and other future winners are being asked to provide a space shuttle lander. The station can carry multiple people in dock and astronaut costumes, but must also have scientific equipment and ground logistics.

There are exciting opportunities for American companies to develop lunar landers to carry the Artemis crew from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon. », Excites NASA On Twitter. The company, which will be retained by NASA, will be requested beyond the Artemis III mission, which is expected after 2025.

SLS Artemis12
Rocket for Artemis mission, to be launched soon. // Source: Joel Kowski

The Artemis project is divided into a series of missions that are increasingly ambitious: Artemis I will orbit the moon with an empty capsule from 2022 onwards. Artemis II will be similar, but with a crew on board. Only with Artemis III can we actually see the moon land. Then there may be Artemis IV, V, VI and so on.

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Selecting a second company for this task offers both flexibility and redundancy, but NASA believes it is a great way to create some emulation with SpaceX and pull each other up. . This is the same logic with the links between Earth and the ISS that should be shared between SpaceX and Boeing.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

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