NASA: SpaceX was announced last Friday (16) as the winner of a $ 2.9 billion contract with NASA responsible for taking astronauts from the space agency to the moon. However, there is a clause in the negotiation that it makes the mission even more challenging – and it makes the competition dream of new opportunities.
According to The New York Times, NASA has made it mandatory to conduct an unmanned mission to the moon before sending astronauts. This means that the company must send the “empty” spaceship into space, land it on the natural satellite and return to Earth with the same systems promised for the official mission.
In addition, companies that participated in the selection process and divested can continue to participate in future contracts involving landings on the moon – which should revive the hope of companies like Blue Origin.
For now, SpaceX has not commented on the mission or reported a window for conducting this test landing.
The Artemis Project, the name of NASAs program with the ultimate goal of humanity returning to the moon brings the deadline to 2024, but the date is subject to revision due to budget constraints.