SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics will build human lunar landers for NASA’s next trip back to the Moon

NASA has selected the companies that will provide them with the human landing system for their Artemis Moon missions, including a lander vehicle which will carry astronauts from space to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972. Blue Origin, SpaceX and Dynetics were picked from a larger field of competitors to develop and build human landing systems (HLS) to carry the first woman and the next man to the Moon, a goal which NASA still hopes to accomplish by 2024.
SpaceX’s Starship was selected as a lander that will launch using the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket. Starship is the spacecraft that SpaceX currently has in development, which is designed as a fully reusable spacecraft for missions to orbit, to the Moon and to Mars . Super Heavy is also currently in development, and will act as a fully reusable booster that’s capable of propelling the large mass of Starship to orbit with a full payload. Starship as a lander choice is an interesting one, because it’s a very different model and design from landers that have made the trip previously.
NASA says that the Starship selection can help its long-erm goals because of its flexible design, enabling it to provide fuel transfer in Earth orbit for the longer trip transporting crew, including from Orion or the Gateway Moon-orbital station to the lunar surface. SpaceX’s proposal included providing a demonstration of in-space propellant transfer between vehicles, as well as an uncrewed test landing on the Moon.
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