- SpaceX has been picked by NASA to send the next American astronauts to the Moon.
- The lunar lander is expected to launch in 2024.
- “We will return American astronauts to the Moon’s surface once again,” said NASA in a statement, “this time to explore new areas for longer periods of time.”
NASA has chosen SpaceX to send the next astronauts to the Moon, the agency announced Saturday, April 17.
In an official press release, we learn that the $2.89 billion contract will mean SpaceX’ mega-spaceship Starship will bring two American astronauts to the Moon as early as 2024 as part of the Artemis program.
NASA will again send humans to the Moon – after 50 years.
“The agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket will launch four astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft for their multi-day journey to lunar orbit. There, two crew members will transfer to the SpaceX human landing system (HLS) for the final leg of their journey to the surface of the Moon. After approximately a week exploring the surface, they will board the lander for their short trip back to orbit where they will return to Orion and their colleagues before heading back to Earth.”
The next lunar mission will definitely be historic.
“At least one of those astronauts will make history as the first woman on the Moon,” NASA further mentioned. “Another goal of the Artemis program includes landing the first person of color on the lunar surface.”
Human Landing System Program Manager Lisa Watson-Morgan pointed out:
“This is an exciting time for NASA and especially the Artemis team. During the Apollo program, we proved that it is possible to do the seemingly impossible: land humans on the Moon. By taking a collaborative approach in working with industry while leveraging NASA’s proven technical expertise and capabilities, we will return American astronauts to the Moon’s surface once again, this time to explore new areas for longer periods of time.”
The next stop? Mars!
As Watson-Morgan shared during a briefing:
“We are confident in NASA’s partnership with SpaceX to help us achieve the Artemis mission, and look forward to continuing our work toward landing astronauts on the moon to prepare for the next giant leap towards Mars.”
Watch the video here to learn more about the NASA-SpaceX Moon Mission:
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