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SpaceX to deliver cargo to NASA’s lunar Gateway station using a new ‘Dragon XL ‘ spacecraft

NASA has tapped SpaceX as the first provider of space-based logistics to deliver experiment materials, cargo and supplies to its lunar Gateway, the agency announced on Friday. This means SpaceX will be among the companies that NASA can turn to when it needs things shuttled via spaceship between Earth and this forthcoming platform, which will orbit the Moon and provide a staging ground for future crewed Moon missions.
The contract means that SpaceX will play a key role in not only NASA’s forthcoming Artemis Moon missions, which will eventually seek to establish a permanent scientific human lunar presence, but that it will also be involved as NASA begins to work towards extending its reach to Mars as well. NASA plans to launch multipole cargo supply mission to the Gateway, which has yet to be constructed, with spacecraft designed to go to the station and remain their for between six and 12 months at a time.
The total value of these contracts will top out at a maximum of $7 billion for the entire contract, with a guaranteed minimum of two missions per provider. Other providers will likely be selected, but SpaceX is the first company to be signed by NASA under the agreement. SpaceX is already contracted by NASA to deliver regular supply runs to the International Space Station in Earth orbit using its Dragon cargo spacecraft.
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