Elon Musk's company was chosen for the Artemis program, in which billionaire Jeff Bezos had also competed.
The US space agency NASA announced this Friday that it awarded SpaceX a contract for 2.89 billion dollars to develop the module with which the country intends to take astronauts to the Moon again in 2024, considering that the company "has everything they need" For their lunar missions.
NASA specified in a press conference that they chose the company that best suited the needs of the Artemis program, its strategy to return to the terrestrial satellite, the federal government resources, and the protection of the module's arrival.
The contract to develop the so-called Human Landing System of the Artemis Program also had in the bid Blue Origin, the aerospace company of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world.
The awarding of the contract implies that Musk's company will be in charge of continuing with the development of the first commercial human lander. NASA intends to send two astronauts to the Moon, and at least one will make history as the first woman to ever step on the satellite.
The trip will unfold as follows: The agency's Space Launch System rocket will launch a total of four astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft for a multi-day trip through the lunar orbit.
There, two of them will be assigned to SpaceX's Human Landing System (HLS) for the final leg of their visit to the surface of the Moon. After examining the lunar surface for about a week, they will embark on a lander for their short journey into orbit, where they will revert to Orion before turning to Earth.
Said Kathy Lueders, NASA's chief of manned missions. This important step sets humanity on the way to a sustainable lunar journey and puts us on the outlook for more missions to the solar system, including Mars. Unlike the Apollo lunar landing, more than 50 years ago, NASA is preparing to establish a long-term presence on this satellite of Earth.
This, the agency says, will allow humans to reach Mars. Said Lisa Watson-Morgan, HLS program manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama, During the Apollo program, we showed that the apparently difficult is possible: take people to the Moon.
Watson-Morgan added that thanks to the collaborative approach with the private sector, "we will bring American astronauts back to the surface of the Moon once more, this time to explore new areas for longer periods of time."
NASA said SpaceX's HLS spacecraft, designed to land on the Moon, relies on the company's proven Raptor engines and the flying legacy of Falcon and Dragon vehicles.