NASA will provide $146 million to five companies, representing the three teams that previously competed to develop the Artemis lunar lander, to perform studies for future lunar lander concepts.
The House Science Committee approved its portion of a massive budget reconciliation spending bill Sept. 9, making no major changes to its NASA provisions.
The House Science Committee will mark up its portion of a multitrillion-dollar spending bill this week that includes several billion dollars for NASA infrastructure but nothing for lunar lander development.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson talks Artemis, HLS, budget prospects and more in an exclusive interview with SpaceNews.
NASA will stop work on a Human Landing System award to SpaceX through the end of October as a federal court takes up a suit filed by Blue Origin protesting the contract.
Blue Origin has filed suit against NASA in federal court, arguing that the agency failed to properly evaluate its proposal for the agency’s Human Landing System program, a procurement won by SpaceX.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office denied protests July 30 that Blue Origin and Dynetics filed of NASA’s award of a single lunar lander contract to SpaceX.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says he remains confident that Congress will provide NASA with additional funding so it can select a second lunar lander developer but declined to comment on Blue Origin’s proposal to lower its costs to enable a contract.
"Competition is the engine of entrepreneurialism," Mark J. Sundahl writes. "Without it, SpaceX and other companies will lack the impetus to produce a superior product at the best price."
NASA’s Human Landing System program is the biggest bet the agency has made on the commercial space industry since the commercial crew program a decade ago.
Awarding HLS to a single provider, SpaceX, was in contravention to the agency's long-stated strategy for the Artemis program: to work with multiple companies so NASA avoid the costly delays and suspensions that have plagued the ambitious programs of the agency's past.