Human Landing System
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 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.
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos says his company will cover more than $2 billion in costs if NASA will award it a second Human Landing System (HLS) 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."
House appropriators approve NASA spending bill with revised lunar lander and nuclear propulsion language
The House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill July 15 that leaves intact overall funding for NASA but tweaks language regarding the Human Landing System and nuclear thermal propulsion.
NASA is seeking proposals to begin the next phase of Artemis lunar lander services, moving quickly despite unresolved protests about its selection of SpaceX to develop a lunar lander.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told a House committee June 23 that NASA is awaiting a decision from the GAO on protests of the agency’s lunar lander contract before releasing more details on plans to return humans to the moon.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson asked Senate appropriators to provide additional funding so NASA can support a second lunar lander developer, warning that the agency needed to stay ahead of a “very aggressive” Chinese space program.