NASA is asking private industry to come up with ideas for another astronaut to land on the moon.
The space agency is working to establish a long-term human presence on and around the moon by the end of the 1920s, through a program called Artemis. In 2021, NASA announced that it has Choose a SpaceX spacecraft As the landing craft for the program’s first manned surface mission, Artemis 3which is scheduled to land near the south pole of the moon in 2025 or 2026.
In March this year, agency officials said they plan to encourage the development of a Second manned lander of Artemis, to provide redundancy and flexibility for the program. That plan became official today (September 16), when NASA issued a call for proposals from private companies.
“The work performed under this order, as well as the ongoing development and studies of the current lander, will help build the foundation for long-term deep space exploration,” said Lisa Watson Morgan, program manager for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Human Landing System Program. Center in Alabama, He said in a statement today (Opens in a new tab).
“Partnering with American companies to do this work now allows us to leverage NASA’s knowledge and experience to encourage technological innovations for a continued presence in the the moonWatson Morgan said.
NASA released a draft of the new petition on March 31 and held a virtual “industrial day” on the topic in April before issuing the final call today, agency officials said. Bids are due by November 15 this year. The companies selected under the contract will be required to conduct two demonstration flights to the lunar surface, one unmanned and one crewed.
The contract SpaceX already has with NASA has similar requirements; The manned test flight is part of the Artemis 3 mission.
anyway SpaceX It seems that it will not be allowed to bid on the new contract, NASA wants the Starship to be part of the Artemis program for the long term. NASA officials said in a statement today that they plan to exercise an option in the existing SpaceX contract, asking the company to develop its Artemis 3 Starship design “to meet an expanded set of requirements for sustaining missions on the Moon and to conduct further crew demonstration.”
Artemis can capture significant strength in a matter of days. NASA is preparing for the first-ever test flight of the program, Artemis 1which will use a file space launch system A rocket to send an Orion capsule on an uncrewed flight to lunar orbit and back.
Artemis 1 was originally supposed to launch on August 29, but technical glitches prompted a takeoff attempt several times. Agency currently Aimed at September 27 for launch.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).