Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Artemis: “Option B”: contract change between SpaceX and NASA worth billions | news


• Cooperation between NASA and partners like SpaceX is important for the success of “tomorrow’s missions”
• SpaceX has been cooperating with NASA as part of the Artemis program since 2021
• “Option B”: $1.15 billion treaty change

SpaceX and NASA in close cooperation

NASA and SpaceX have been working closely together for quite some time. Just last year the space company bid for the entrepreneur Elon Musk the US space agency to help with the development of new space suits. The reason for this was that NASA was unable to complete the spacesuits planned for 2023 on time due to funding bottlenecks, COVID-19, and technical challenges. NASA itself recently explained in a press release how important partners like SpaceX are: “With several planned landings from SpaceX and future partners, NASA will be better able to accomplish tomorrow’s missions: more science on the lunar surface than ever before. operate beforehand and prepare.” for manned missions to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

The Artemis Mission

Also in 2021, NASA signed an approximately $2.9 billion contract with SpaceX that provides for the development of a crewed landing system for the Artemis program. A Starship rocket from the US company will be used to transport the astronauts to the moon as part of the mission. NASA also claimed that this mission aims to put the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. The goal is to further explore the lunar surface with the latest technologies and establish the first long-term presence on the moon.

Contract change for Artemis mission

As NASA now explains in a recent press release, SpaceX has been tasked with a contract change as part of the Artemis program. The change, also called “Option B,” is valued at approximately $1.15 billion and goes beyond the first trip to the Moon: “Continuing our collaboration with SpaceX through Option B furthers our resilient Plans for crewed transport regular to the lunar surface and establishes a long-term human presence under Artemis,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, program manager for the Human Landing System at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. The goal of the contract change is to develop and demonstrate a Starship lunar lander that meets NASA’s post-Artemis III mission requirements, including docking with Gateway, hosting four crew members, and delivering more mass to the surface. “This pivotal work will help us focus on developing service-based sustainable lunar landers that meet NASA’s requirements for recurring missions to the lunar surface,” Watson-Morgan continued.

E. Schmal / Publisher

Image sources: SpaceX, Alones

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
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