In 2020, NASA granted contracts to three private enterprises – SpaceX, Dynetics, and Blue Origin – for the development of a Human Landing System (HLS) as part of the Artemis program, aimed at, again, safely landing astronauts on the moon.
On April 16, NASA officially revealed that SpaceX’s cutting-edge spacecraft, named “Starship,” has triumphed over the other contenders, securing a $2.9 billion contract to manufacture the lunar lander for the Artemis mission.
The ambitious goal of landing astronauts on the moon by 2024 was initially set by former President Donald J. Trump and its administration. During a recent conference, acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk expressed that the progress of SpaceX in developing the lunar lander, Starship, would be closely monitored by the NASA team to determine if the 2024 timeline is feasible.
The Artemis program, which aims to not only return astronauts to the moon after decades, and establish a sustainable human presence there, is an ambitious undertaking that requires advanced technology, precise planning, and robust execution. While the timeline for landing on the moon by 2024 is challenging, NASA and SpaceX are committed to ensuring safety and reliability in the development of the lunar lander. Regular progress assessments and evaluations will be conducted to ensure that the project remains on track.
NASA’s collaboration with SpaceX, a leading commercial space company known for its innovative approach to space exploration, has been a significant step forward in advancing the Artemis program. The Starship, with its advanced design and capabilities, has been selected as the spacecraft to transport astronauts to the lunar surface, marking a significant milestone in the partnership between NASA and SpaceX.
The success of this collaborative effort will not only pave the way for future human missions to the moon but also set the stage for eventual crewed missions to Mars and beyond.