NASA Chooses SpaceX Starship for Human Lunar Landing

NASA Chooses SpaceX Starship for Human Lunar Landing

NASA is going back to the moon with the Space Launch System (SLS) under the Artemis program banner, but the agency still needs a landing system to take astronauts from the Orion capsule down to the lunar surface. After reviewing designs from Dynetics, SpaceX, and Blue Origin, NASA has decided to go with SpaceX and the Starship.

This special Starship configuration will be known as the human landing system (HLS), for which NASA is paying SpaceX $2.89 billion. As we’ve all seen in recent weeks, the Starship is far from ready to carry human passengers, but we’ve got a few years before it will need to be in a position to receive crew — the first Artemis landing won’t be until 2024 at the earliest. Despite the company’s recent testing setbacks, the Starship is much further along in development than either of the other proposed vessels.

When Artemis III launches from Earth, it will carry four astronauts on a multi-day journey to Lunar orbit. Once there, two of the crew will transfer from Orion to the Starship HLS. One of these individuals will become the first woman to set foot on the moon, and the Artemis program will also see the first person of color on the lunar surface.

NASA chose the Starship not only for its advanced development status but for its impressive technical specifications. NASA has been working with SpaceX during the HLS evaluation period to ensure the Starship has all the necessary capabilities. The spacecraft has ample room for the crew, and SpaceX’s propulsive landing technology is far and away the best in the world, a few failed tests notwithstanding. This spacecraft will be able to move to multiple locations around the moon, allowing astronauts to explore various locations over the course of a week. Following the lunar excursion, the Starship will deliver the crew back to Orion for their return to Earth.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wasted no time celebrating the decision on Twitter. “NASA Rules!!” he tweeted, adding that SpaceX is honored to be part of the Artemis program. This award puts the Starship front and center as humanity heads back to the moon, but Musk is still laser-focused on Mars as the future of humanity. After celebrating the NASA deal, he reminded everyone that any plants and animals that go extinct on Earth in the future could continue living on Mars.

Continue reading

NASA: Asteroid Could Still Hit Earth in 2068
NASA: Asteroid Could Still Hit Earth in 2068

This skyscraper-sized asteroid might still hit Earth in 2068, according to a new analysis from the University of Hawaii and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

NASA Created a Collection of Spooky Space Sounds for Halloween
NASA Created a Collection of Spooky Space Sounds for Halloween

NASA's latest data release turns signals from beyond Earth into spooky sounds that are sure to send a chill up your spine.

NASA Discovers Vital Organic Molecule on Titan
NASA Discovers Vital Organic Molecule on Titan

In the latest analysis, researchers from NASA have identified an important, highly reactive organic molecule in Titan's atmosphere. Its presence suggests the moon could support chemical processes that we usually associate with life.

How to Build a Face Mask Detector With a Jetson Nano 2GB and AlwaysAI
How to Build a Face Mask Detector With a Jetson Nano 2GB and AlwaysAI

Nvidia continues to make AI at the edge more affordable and easier to deploy. So instead of simply running through the benchmarks to review the new Jetson Nano 2GB, I decided to tackle the DIY project of building my own face mask detector.