Elon Musk Reportedly Beats Out Bezos to Score $2.9 Billion NASA Contract to Take the US Back to the Moon
A big victory for Elon Musk’s SpaceX came on Friday, with the company reportedly winning a $2.9 billion NASA contract to land astronauts on the moon again.
The news was broken by the Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, whose Blue Origin company was also competing for the contract to build the first commercial Human Landing System.
WaPo acknowledged the decision was a “huge blow” for Bezos, “who has long been fascinated by the moon and has for years wanted to be part of the effort to return there.” Bezos has described his memories at 5 years old and watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon as “a seminal moment” in his life.
The Artemis missions will return man to the moon for the first time since the last Apollo mission in 1972.
With other recent partnership contracts for space travel, NASA has often selected multiple companies to encourage competition and to intentionally create redundancy in case one falls behind or cannot complete their work. The initial phase of this contract was awarded to three companies: SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Dynetics, a defense contractor based in Huntsville, Ala.
Selecting just SpaceX to continue alone is a major vote of confidence from NASA that the company can completely handle the project.
President Joe Biden nominated former Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) to be the new head of NASA, and he is expected to be easily confirmed during his hearing next week.
NASA officially confirmed the news with a post on their Twitter account for the Artemis missions:
— NASA’s Artemis Program (@NASAArtemis) April 16, 2021
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