The space agency has beat out defense contractor Dynetics and Jeff Bezo‘s Blue Origin, which recently announced they were one step closer to flying humans to space. It was previously expected that NASA would go with one of the two companies instead of SpaceX.
In recent programs, NASA usually chooses a number of contractors for its major projects, promoting competition and ensuring options for the agency. However, this time NASA has gone all-in on SpaceX, who pitched its Starship rocket model for the Artemis missions.
Though Space X’s Starship has encountered several issues during testing, being that all its prototypes having exploded or crashed. The most recent incident occurred just last month when SpaceX lost its fourth SN11 Starship prototype in a row. By awarding SpaceX the contract, NASA showcases its unwavering support for the agency, despite the errors of the trials. NASA has previously worked with Space to deliver ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, with its next mission scheduled to be later this April 2021.
This major feat, however, does not come without complications. It is expected that the Artemis program might not reach its goal of taking humans back to the Moon by 2024. NASA reportedly does not currently have the budget to make the mission happen by 2024 and the timeline is still currently under review. Though that is the case, the Artemis still plans on landing the first person of color on the moon.
So far, NASA and SpaceX have not revealed any further information regarding the overall timeline of the launch.
In case you missed it, Apple is commiting to restoring forests with $200 million USD fund.