Musk’s SpaceX wins NASA award to supply planned lunar space station

Musk’s SpaceX wins NASA award to supply planned lunar space station

NASA chose a new space capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Friday to transport cargo and supplies to the service’s planned lunar space station, a critical building block for its plans to build a permanent post on the moon and future missions to Mars build.

SpaceX will receive part of a $ 7 billion NASA contract to use its largest rocket, Falcon Heavy, to send a new “Dragon XL” spacecraft to the Lunar Gateway, an outpost that NASA plans to build to orbit the moon sometime in the next ten years. The Dragon XL spacecraft, the latest variant in Musk’s range of so-called Dragon cargo and astronaut capsules, will carry research supplies that will help prospective astronauts on the surface of the moon collect lunar samples, according to a NASA announcement.

The Dragon variant, which would be docked at the orbital station six to 12 months per mission, is “optimized to transport more than 5 tons of cargo in orbit around the moon to Gateway,” SpaceX said in a tweet. The financial value of the prize is not given. But it signals a major development in the U.S. space agency’s Artemis program to return to the moon – unveiled a week ago by Vice President Mike Pence a week ago – and achieves a win for Musk’s space company as it is launching its debut crewed space mission this summer.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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