Story at a glance

  • SpaceX beat out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics for the $2.9 billion contract to build the lunar lander.
  • NASA was initially expected to choose two of the competitors to build the spacecraft, but reportedly chose SpaceX alone.
  • NASA’s Artemis mission will land the first woman on the moon as well as the first person of color.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been chosen by NASA to construct the spacecraft that will take astronauts to the moon for the first time since the last Apollo mission, The Washington Post reports. 

SpaceX beat out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin — which was working in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper — and defense contractor Dynetics for the $2.9 billion contract to build the lunar lander. 


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The space agency previously rewarded the three competitors with a combined $967 million to develop concepts for the spacecraft. 

NASA was initially expected to choose two of the competitors to build the spacecraft, but chose SpaceX alone, signaling its trust in the private rocket company to fly astronauts to the moon for its Artemis mission by 2024. 

SpaceX bid its Starship spacecraft for the Artemis program, a reusable rocket the company has been building and testing from its facility in Boca Chica, Texas. 

The company has tested a number of prototypes, launching them from its facility without any people on board several miles up in the air and then flying them back to the launch pad. 

All prototypes so far have exploded upon landing, although one successfully landed on March 3 for several moments before it was engulfed in flames. 

NASA’s Artemis mission will land the first woman on the moon, as well as the first person of color. 


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Published on Apr 16, 2021