Two years after awarding the first contract SpaceXThe NASA announced the selection of the US space agency Blue appearance A second lunar landing system was intended to carry astronauts to its surface Luna.
A lunar lander was selected for the Artemis 5 mission in 2029. First land on the moon and prove its safety. Luna Without crew.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos Founder Blue appearance“An honor to be a part of this journey,” he tweeted NASA“.
The contract is worth $3.4 billion, but John Coulouris, vice president of lunar transportation Blue appearanceHe told a news conference that the company would contribute “far beyond” that amount to build the spacecraft.
is Artemis The US space agency’s return to Earth program LunaIt has several tasks of increasing difficulty.
It started with the Artemis 1 mission, which sent a spacecraft around Luna In November 2022, without personnel.
The Artemis 2 mission will carry four astronauts Luna In the fall of 2024, without landing on the moon. The identity of the selected lucky winners, three Americans and one Canadian, was recently released.
Artemis 3 will be the first mission to land astronauts on the lunar surface since 1972. It is officially planned for late 2025, which is believed to be unfulfilled.
Both missions will land, Artemis 4 (in 2028) and Artemis 5 (in 2029). LunaBut first They will pass a new space station in lunar orbit, Gateway, which doesn’t exist yet.
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In 2021, The NASA chose SpaceX To build the Artemis 3 lunar lander. The deal was for $2.9 billion SpaceX Contribute funds above that amount.
Blue appearanceThis first contract was contested and litigation ensued NASAA commonly used practice is to have a plan B in case of failure, accusing him of selecting only one company for the job and not two as he indicated. The case was eventually dismissed.
In 2022, SpaceX was re-elected by NASAThis time it will be responsible for the lunar landing module of the Artemis 4 mission.
At the same time, the US company invited other companies to tender for other projects.
“We want more competition. We want two lunar landing modules,” the president said NASA, Bill Nelson. “This way you have more reliability and an alternative,” he added.
Lunar Landing Module Blue appearanceNamed Blue Moon, it will be 16 meters tall and weigh 45 tons when filled with fuel (liquid hydrogen and oxygen).
Several companies are partners in the project: Boeing, Draper, Astrobotic, Honeybee Robotics and Lockheed Martin.
The latter will be responsible for forming an important part of the work. Once in lunar orbit, the Blue Moon must refuel before dropping astronauts off the lunar surface. Luna.
Lockheed Martin is supposed to build a type of spacecraft capable of refueling around the Blue Moon. Luna.
Blue appearance He plans to use his never-before-flown New Glenn rocket to launch both his lunar lander and this spacecraft.
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Prelude to Tuesday
Astronauts will travel in the Orion capsule Luna Thanks to the new SLS mega rocket NASA.
Both of these items were tested blank during Artemis 1 and will be tested during Artemis 2.
For Artemis 3, Orion will arrive directly at the lunar lander SpaceX. Two astronauts would then land on the moon for a week (two more would remain aboard Orion).
After their experiments are complete, the two astronauts will return in the Orion lander, which will bring four crew members back to Earth.
Orion will then dock with the Gateway Space Station and astronauts will pass through it before boarding the Moon Landing Module. SpaceX (Artemisa 4), The Blue appearance (Artemis 5).
All these missions target the South Pole LunaWater in the form of ice has been found there.
Lunar Landing Module SpaceX It will be a modified version of their Starship spacecraft, currently under development in Texas. In April, it exploded in flight during the first major test.
The purpose of the Artemisa project is to learn to live Luna To test all the necessary technologies for an even more dangerous place: Mars. (AFP)