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Getting to the moon just got a lot more exciting3 min read

April 18, 2021 3 min read

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Getting to the moon just got a lot more exciting3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Not literally, of course. But it has now gotten a lot easier to reach the moon.

NASA has now teamed up with SpaceX and awarded them a 21, 620 crore INR( 2.9 billion USD) contract to get people to the moon. This is part of NASA’s ongoing search for space partners through its ARTEMIS program.

Why did NASA award this contract?

NASA picks SpaceX and Starship to send Artemis astronauts to the moon - CNET

The reason NASA wants to endorse private companies is to aid in their goal of reaching the infinite limits of space exploration. Let’s assume you are working in a group project with your friend; you’ll probably bring some skills to the table while they’ll provide others. This is much like the relationship between NASA and SpaceX, except in the business world, money runs everything. Therefore, NASA gave SpaceX money from the US government to finish their own project.

When we reported about SpaceX’s Starship test, we gave you a little bit of background on how Starship will help space exploration. Well, NASA just awarded SpaceX this contract to do more research on Starship. And also, get Starship to the moon and back with reliability. While NASA is developing its own moon lander, called the Space Launch System, or SLS for short, having another person to get your back is very helpful.

But why SpaceX?

NASA and SpaceX already have the strong relationship from their current project, bringing Americans back to the ISS from American soil. SpaceX has proven it’s worth already after they’ve sent two crewed missions. Finally, SpaceX has already started to develop their Starship, and although it has burnt up over the past few tests, SpaceX has diagnosed the problems and modified it for the next launch. So there is greener grass waiting on the other side for SpaceX.

NASA, SpaceX Complete Certification of Commercial Space System | NASA

Here’s something to watch out for this week: The time of SpaceX’s third crewed launch to the International Space Station is coming up. The launch is at 3:41 PM IST on Thursday, April 22. You can watch the launch on the internet.

Umm.. are we done talking about the NASA contract?

Not quite! All the money that SpaceX is receiving will be going toward building and developing Starship. This is a mutual benefit, but SpaceX has a big advantage now. It has money, funding and goodwill from NASA! Thus, it has an upper hand over its competitors. This also brings more hope for SpaceX’s Starship capsule. They will be using this for both the moon and Mars, meaning it gets a headstart in the Mars race too. A crafty plan here from SpaceX, right?

We at Owliver hope you get the time to watch the launch on Thursday, and look out for more updates on these big news headlines!

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