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NASA Awards SpaceX, Blue Origin, and 3 Other Companies $146 Million In Contracts to Make Moon Lander Designs

NASA announced on Tuesday that it had awarded five US companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, a total of $146 million in contracts to develop moon-lander designs.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

The contracts are part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts back to the moon by 2024.

SpaceX received a contract worth $9.4 million, while Blue Origin got a contract worth $25.6 million, according to NASA’s statement.

The project will take place over the next 15 months, according to NASA.

Related: SpaceX to Carry All-Civilian Crew in Space Flight

The other awards included a $40.8 million contract for Dynetics, a $35.2 million contract for Lockheed Martin, and a $34.8 million contract for Northrop Grumman, NASA said.

The five companies will develop sustainable lunar lander design concepts to help NASA regularly transport astronauts to the surface of the moon, the agency said. The agency will evaluate the performance and safety of the lunar lander concepts, and minimize the risks involved, it said.

It was unclear how many companies were in the running for the contracts. Insider has contacted NASA for further information.

“Collaboration with our partners is critical to achieving NASA’s long-term Artemis lunar exploration goals,” Lisa Watson-Morgan, Human Landing System program manager at NASA, said in the statement. “By partnering with innovative US companies, we will establish a robust lunar economy while exploring new areas of the Moon for generations to come.”

Related: Elon Musk Makes Fun of Bezos on Twitter, Purposely Spells His Name Wrong

This project is different from the $2.9 billion NASA lunar lander contract award to SpaceX in April. Under the exclusive contract, which Blue Origin missed out on, NASA astronauts are set to fly to the moon for the first time since 1972 in SpaceX’s Starship.

Blue Origin has since filed a protest and sued NASA for its decision to solely select SpaceX for the landing-system contract — the agency was expected to choose two companies. Bezos’ company also offered to cover up to $2 billion for the first two years of production of a moon lander.

Related: Bezos Slams Musk and SpaceX With Infographic, Musk Gets Final Word With Not-So-Subtle Tweet

 

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