NASA has selected three private companies to deliver people to the moon

NASA has selected three private American space companies that will develop projects for the lunar landing modules of Artemis: Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Dynetics. For ten months of the funding they need to complete their projects, and the start of the programme scheduled for 2024, reported on the website of the Agency.

In the framework of Artemis, NASA intends to land astronauts on the moon starting in 2024 and to create a lunar orbiting station Deep Space Gateway, and a permanent base on the surface of the natural satellite of the Earth. Currently a number of companies engaged in the development of the carrier rocket Space Launch System, spacecraft (such as Orion), orbital Deep Space Gateway modules, space suits and other space equipment necessary for the implementation of the program.

April 30, 2020, the Agency announced the selection of three private American space companies that will develop their projects to the lunar landing modules on the programme NextSTEP-2 (Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships) to contract a phased manner. During the first stage (next ten months), they will be with the support and consultations of experts from NASA to finalize their projects. In total, the Agency allocated for the development of 967 million dollars.

The first company, Blue Origin, which is working on a project lunar lander Blue Moon, equipped with oxygen-hydrogen engine BE-7: it can be used to deliver people and cargo to the surface of the satellite. The engine will be part of a three-stage landing system ILV (Integrated Lander Vehicle), for which Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper will develop a migratory stage, avionics systems, control and navigation, and reusable return module that can dock with the Orbiter or Orion Deep Space station Gateway. Space ILV will go with rockets New Glenn and Vulcan Centaur.

The second company, SpaceX is working on his superheavy reusable system Starship that can fly to the moon and Mars (in detail about it we were told in the material “a strange rocket”), uses methane-oxygen engines of the Raptor and will start with the Earth using a reusable stage Super Heavy. Refueling for the flight to the moon will be implemented with the aid of a tanker in earth orbit.

Finally, the company Dynetics is developing a two-stage lunar landing system DHLS (Dynetics Human Landing System), which can be run by using the booster Centaur Vulcan. It has two large fuel tank, solar panels, and the cockpit will be close to the surface of the moon after landing that allow astronauts to quickly enter, exit or move the instruments and samples. DHLS can dock with the Orion spacecraft and the Deep Space station Gateway that will be able to fuel it.

Earlier we talked about how Boeing showed two spacecraft to study the moon and Mars. One of them is located on the orbit of the moon, and the second must be sent him to Mars.

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