NASA is looking for an alternative to SpaceX to create a lunar module

(ORDO NEWS) — In April 2021, NASA selected SpaceX to build the first manned lunar lander for the Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts to the Moon in the mid-2020s and have a sustained human presence on Earth’s nearest neighbor by the end of this decade.

It seems that everything is fine, SpaceX won the competition and began to master the money. However, on March 23, 2022, NASA announced that it plans to support the development of a second or alternative manned lunar lander.

“The new strategy is accelerating progress towards long-term, sustainable lander capabilities [to the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite] as early as 2026 or 2027,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, NASA’s manager of the moon landing program.

However, the new plan is not all that new. Initially, NASA intended to select several private landers for the Artemis program in order to create competition. But Congress did not allocate enough funds to support the development of multiple vehicles, so in April 2021, NASA chose only SpaceX.

In October 2021, the Senate Appropriations Committee directed NASA to select a second company to develop a moon lander. The increase in funding associated with this order was quite small, but NASA apparently now has assurances that the necessary money will come in, so a new competition is already being planned.

Perhaps the allocation of additional funds is dictated by the desire for the United States to accurately overtake China in the new lunar race.

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