NASA wants a second Moon lander in addition to one from Elon Musk's SpaceX

NASA wants a second Moon lander in addition to one from Elon Musk's SpaceX

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This is what an Artemis astronaut mightiness spot erstwhile their lander arrives connected the lunar surface.

Image: NASA

NASA wants different firms beyond Elon Musk's SpaceX to transportation for a caller Moon lander conveyance for its Artemis project, which aims to enactment humans connected the lunar aboveground again for the archetypal clip since Apollo 17 successful 1972. 

Artemis is NASA's ongoing effort to revive the thought of humans physically going to the Moon. The goals are for "scientific discovery, economical benefits, and inspiration for a caller procreation of explorers." 

The US abstraction bureau plans to walk astir $100 cardinal connected the Artemis project. Earlier this month, it brought the massive Orion spacecraft to the Kennedy Space Center motorboat pad successful mentation for instrumentality off.

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Artemis is named aft Apollo's duplicate sister. The task helps NASA found semipermanent exploration of the Moon arsenic a precursor to quality missions to Mars. The Orion is simply a beast, measuring 322-feet successful magnitude with a value of 3.5 cardinal pounds. 

NASA is present taking a caller tack by contracting retired lander manufacturing to each backstage assemblage firms alternatively than making it in-house oregon relying solely connected Elon Musk's SpaceX. 

"Under this caller approach, NASA is asking American companies to suggest lander concepts susceptible of ferrying astronauts betwixt lunar orbit and the lunar aboveground for missions beyond Artemis III, which volition onshore the archetypal astronauts connected the Moon successful much than 50 years," NASA said successful a statement. 

It wants the caller landers to beryllium capable to dock to a lunar orbiting abstraction presumption called Gateway, an outpost conveyance orbiting the Moon, to summation unit capacity, and transport much subject and exertion to the moon's surface.

"Under Artemis, NASA volition transportation retired a bid of groundbreaking missions connected and astir the Moon to hole for the adjacent elephantine leap for humanity: a crewed ngo to Mars," said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. 

"Competition is captious to our occurrence connected the lunar aboveground and beyond, ensuring we person the capableness to transportation retired a cadence of missions implicit the adjacent decade."

NASA already has a $2.9 cardinal declaration with SpaceX to physique the lunar launcher but says the occupation is present unfastened to "all different U.S. companies to supply a caller landing objection ngo from lunar orbit to the aboveground of the Moon."

ZDNet sister tract CNET reports that Amazon laminitis Jeff Bezos' abstraction question steadfast Blue Origin volition bid for a portion of the satellite lander project. 

"Blue Origin is thrilled that NASA is creating contention by procuring a 2nd quality lunar landing system," a Blue Origin spokesperson told CNET. 

"Blue Origin is acceptable to vie and remains profoundly committed to the occurrence of Artemis. We volition proceed to enactment with NASA to execute the United States' extremity to instrumentality to the satellite arsenic soon arsenic possible."

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