NASA announced Thursday that it has signed a $ 1 billion contract with three companies, including Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos and SpaceX by Elon Musk, to develop lunar landers, again with the stated purpose of the United States of send a human being back to the Moon.
SpaceX by Elon Musk (boss of Tesla), Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos (boss of Amazon and the richest man in the world) and Dynetics, another American aerospace company, will therefore share $ 967 million to develop their own lander until February 2021, date on which the American space agency will choose one of the models presented.
“America is at the final stages of its plan to send astronauts to the Moon in 2024, when we will see the incredible moment when the first woman will set foot on the moon,” said Jim Bridenstine, administrator of Nasa.
“It is the first time since the time of the Apollo missions that NASA has funding for a crewed lunar lander system. We now have companies under contract to work for the Artemis program”, a- he added.
This crewed lander system is at the heart of the Artemis mission, the American return to the moon program.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which halted construction and testing of the Artemis rocket and spacecraft, Jim Bridenstine said he wanted to see the mission go ahead.
“We have to give people hope. We have to give them something that makes them dream and will inspire not only our nation, but the whole world.”