NASA selects SpaceX, the Elon Musk Space Exploration Company, to develop the human landing (dubbed by NASA as Lunar Landers) of Artemis, our way back to the moons.
An Overview of Artemis – NASA Selects SpaceX for this
Advertised as ‘Humanity’s Return to the Moon,’ Artemis is a lunar exploration program of NASA aiming to land the first woman and first person of colour. The primary objective would be to establish sustainable exploration for the first time and learn from the lunar atmosphere and surroundings to prepare for NASA labels as ‘Giant Leap’ – Sending Astronauts to Mars.
Artemis, a National Project – Why NASA selects SpaceX?
According to the direction of the Trump administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA (NASA) formally created the Artemis Program as a national project about two years ago to send human beings back to the Moon in a sustainable way and establish a strong base there.
The goal was to move beyond the flags and footprints forays of the Apollo Program (human spaceflight program carried out by NASA from 1968 to 1972). From the Artemis project, NASA plans to gain the knowledge needed to send humans to Mars eventually.
The Biden administration has endorsed this basic goal, and it’s working on updating the Artemis Program with a more realistic timeline given the budget predilections of the USA Congress.
Some of the equipment and systems for Artemis are:
- Exploration Ground Systems
- Space Launch System
- Lunar Landers, the vehicle that will land astronauts on the lunar surface.
- Artemis Generation Spacesuits
NASA selects SpaceX
NASA called on contracts in 2020 to three commercial companies — SpaceX, Dynetics, and Blue Origin — for developing the Human Landing System (HLS) program of Artemis Project. They asked each of these companies to develop an innovative landing system to be used under the Artemis program to ferry astronauts down to the moon’s surface.
On April 16, NASA announced that SpaceX had beat out the other two competitors, winning the $2.9 billion contract to build the Lunar Lander, the vehicle that will land astronauts on the lunar surface in the Artemis Programme. Just like that, NASA selects SpaceX.
SpaceX will develop the first commercial human lander to safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.
The Plan goes like this – At first, four astronauts will fly aboard the Orion spacecraft for their journey to the lunar orbit. There, the two crew members will join with SpaceX Human Landing System to explore the lunar surface. Their exploration would continue for almost a week before returning to Orion.
The current plan, which is named Artemis, calls for astronauts to launch on Space Launch System (SLS) rocket of NASA, fly to lunar orbit on the space agency’s Orion space capsule, and then transfer to the Starship rocket of SpaceX to make the final landing to the surface of the moon.
The Deal is of $2.89 Billion, just to let you all know.
The HLS Starship
Human Landing System (HLS) Starship is an upper stage that will launch above the Super Heavy rocket. It bears the flight heritage of the Falcon and Dragon vehicles. SpaceX is testing in various steps and developing both of these vehicles at its facility in South Texas of the United States.
The Starship is built with the company’s Raptor engines. With a spacious cabin and two airlocks for astronaut moonwalks, the architecture is intended for becoming a fully reusable launch and landing system to explore on the surfaces of Moon, Mars, and so on.
Final Words Of NASA Selects SpaceX
The Artemis Program is nothing but just a mere preparation from the side of NASA. NASA mainly targets Mars, and for that, it needs more information and success with the native lunar satellite, hence the Artemis Mission. Now that SpaceX is involved, things could just rapid fire. That was the reason why NASA selects SpaceX.