today SpaceX snagged one of its biggest contracts yet! NASA selected them over Blue Origin and Dynetics to build the lunar lander for the NASA Artemis Project. The contract value is a whopping $2.89 BILLION to build the Human Landing System or HLS. SpaceX has really benefitted from the Artemis Program as they have also won a contract to begin shipping parts of the Lunar Gateway Space Station that will orbit the moon.
This lander will come from the same vein as SpaceX’s Starship. The HLS will only hold two astronauts and will be smaller than the supermassive Starship vehicle. It will have Raptor engines just like Starship and will feature two airlocks for the astronauts and a ton of space. This space will allow for the astronauts to stay down on the surface for roughly a week before they return to the orbiting Orion craft that will house an additional two astronauts.
It will be interesting to see if SpaceX attempts or tries to use this lander before NASA. It would not be something completely out of the blue as they could launch their own people to the moon and then “test” this variation of Starship’s ability to perform the necessary tasks. It could also be something that is fully automated so they could just send the launcher themselves depending on the technology and testing they want to put it through.
For this contract win SpaceX really came out of nowhere to win it. They used the most unique design one that needed new systems to be designed specifically for it. The others in the competition used much more traditional engineering of what a lander would look like and function. SpaceX also received the least amount of money at just $135 million while Blue Origin pulled in $579 million and Dynetics received $253 million.
The part I find hilarious about this win to is that Elon Musk had tweeted out a week or so ago how he was going to put a literal Dogecoin on the moon and now with HIS lander being used he could just do it! I would not put it past him to name the lander something Doge based or for him to have the astronauts leave some capsule containing a physical dogecoin on the surface….. This is the guy that did launch his own car into orbit around the sun!
#doge #SpaceX #wazirxwarriors