In the next few weeks, NASA will issue a draft to bring a second contender to the market to develop the Lunar Lander alongside SpaceX. After this, the rest of the requirements related to landing on the moon will also be fulfilled. In a statement, Lisa Watson-Morgan, program manager of NASA’s Human Landing System Program saidWe expect the two companies to safely carry astronauts in their landers.
NASA needs a powerful rocket to reach the Moon and beyond. For this, it is preparing the Space Launch System rocket. In April last year, NASA also joined SpaceX to build a rocket. Together they are preparing the starship. Both the rockets are about to be built and they can be final tested soon.
The plan to have multiple rocket systems for the mission is not new. NASA had planned to have several private moon landers for Artemis, so that the competition could be carried forward and it would have a backup ready. However, the agency was short of funds. In the budget revision of the year 2019, NASA said that by the year 2024, it needs an additional 1.6 billion dollars (about Rs 12188.88 crore) to send humans to the moon again.
After this, NASA proceeded with SpaceX, but it faced opposition. Actually, all the other players including Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin also want to be involved in this project. Now it seems that NASA wants to take the mission forward by including another private lander. It is possible that his lack of money has also gone away.