NASA withdraws order
Bezos Took a Swipe on Musk on Molander
03/24/2022 01:57 am
Both aim high: Tesla boss Musk and Amazon founder Bezos apply with their space companies for a NASA contract for the first commercial moon lander. First, Musk won the tender. But then Bezos filed a complaint – and now he has succeeded.
The US space agency NASA has now resumed the race for the first commercial moon landing device, following a complaint by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos’ space company Blue Origin was unable to prevail against billionaire Elon Musk’s rival SpaceX in NASA’s lunar lander tender.
With an official complaint, however, Blue Origin and the company Dynatics, which also lost, were initially unsuccessful. Nevertheless, NASA announced that they are still looking for products that compete with the SpaceX lunar lander. “Competition is critical to our success on the Moon’s surface and beyond,” NASA chief Bill Nelson said at a news conference.
SpaceX is still committed, but has been asked to expand its offer. In addition, proposals will be sought from other American companies for the second Moon lander. Bezos had previously tried to change NASA’s mind with an offer of money. The Amazon founder wrote in an open letter that Blue Origin would bear up to $2 billion in costs for the development and production of the moon lander if the company was allowed to compete again against competitor SpaceX.
Mission planned for 2025
NASA did not initially respond, at least not publicly. The order is part of the so-called Artemis program. Planned for 2025 at the earliest, the mission will carry four astronauts into lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft, where two of them will transfer to a lander for a final approach to the Moon. A kind of space station is also to be built on the Moon and used as a base for manned flight to Mars – but that will only happen in the distant future.
Last week, NASA deployed the rocket systems to Artemis — which included the “Space Launch System” rocket and the “Orion” capsule — for testing purposes at Cape Canaveral Spaceport for the first time. However, there are still many tests to be done before the first unmanned system can be tested at the earliest in May.
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