NASA said it awarded billionaire Elon Musk’s space company a $ 2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the moon early in 2024, and chose that contract instead of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc. CNBC.
And Bezos and Musk – the world’s first and third richest in a row, according to Forbes – were competing to lead humanity’s return to the moon for the first time since 1972.
“NASA governs !!” Musk wrote on Twitter after the announcement.
NASA said that the probe will carry two American astronauts to the surface of the moon.
“We must complete the next landing as quickly as possible,” said Steve Goerchek, Acting NASA Administrator.
“If they achieve their goals, we have a chance in 2024,” Gurczyk added.
And NASA said that the SpaceX spacecraft includes a spacious cabin and two airlocks for astronauts to walk on the surface of the moon and that its architecture aims to develop into a completely reusable launch and landing system designed to travel to the moon, Mars and other destinations in space.
And unlike the Apollo landings from 1969 to 1972 – the only human visits to the lunar surface – NASA is preparing for the long-term presence of the Moon that it envisions as the starting point for a more ambitious plan to send astronauts to Mars.