When the primary two segments of NASA’s Gateway station make their strategy to the Moon someday in 2024, they’ll be carried into area by a Falcon Heavy rocket. The $331.eight million settlement, which the company announced on Tuesday, is the second launch contract NASA has awarded to SpaceX in as many weeks.
As soon as it’s safely in lunar orbit, the Gateway will function a approach station for astronauts and tools heading to the Moon as a part of NASA’s Artemis program. The pair of modules SpaceX will ferry into area are the facility and propulsion ingredient (PPE) and the habitation and logistics outpost (HALO), which two separate corporations are constructing for NASA for $375 million and $187 million respectively. The previous will present Gateway with energy and permit the station to maneuver to completely different lunar orbits, whereas the latter will give astronauts a spot to remain on their strategy to the Moon. The mission will blast off from Kennedy Area Heart in Might of 2024 on the earliest.
Within the lead as much as Artemis, NASA has been awarding contracts to personal corporations to hurry up the challenge’s timeline. In January, nonetheless, it got here out that the company had quietly pushed back the award timeframe for 2 lander contracts from late February to the top of April, which has forged doubt over whether or not NASA will be capable of meet its bold 2024 objective for Artemis.