Human Landing System
NASA took many by surprise by picking just one company to develop a lunar lander and fly a single demo mission to the moon. Even more surprising was NASA's pick: SpaceX, whose Starship vehicle appeared massively oversized for the job. However, the end of the HLS competition may not mean the end of the overall competition to send astronauts to the moon.
NASA released its fiscal year 2022 budget request May 28, asking for $24.8 billion to support a number of new and existing science and exploration programs but also proposing once again to cancel an airborne astronomical observatory.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson congratulated China for successfully landing a rover on Mars, but also used the milestone to warn Congress of China’s competitive threat to American leadership in human spaceflight.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told House appropriators May 19 that the agency is requesting more than $11 billion in an upcoming infrastructure bill that would go for the agency’s Human Landing System program and upgrading center facilities.
An amendment to a Senate bill would require NASA to select a second company for its Human Lander System program, a provision some fear could upend the overall effort to return humans to the moon as soon as 2024.
NASA should have revised its approach to the Human Landing System (HLS) program or withdrawn the solicitation entirely once it was clear the agency didn’t have the funding to support two companies, one of the losing bidders argues in its protest of the award.
A member of the Trump administration's NASA transition team weighs in on NASA's decision to forgo additional competition by picking a single vendor, SpaceX, to develop a Human Landing System for the Artemis program.
Blue Origin filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office April 26 over NASA’s decision to select only SpaceX for its Human Landing System (HLS) program, arguing the agency “moved the goalposts” of the competition.
NASA has selected SpaceX as the sole company to win a contract to develop and demonstrate a crewed lunar lander, while keeping the door open for others to compete for future missions.
NASA officials say the agency is still planning to make selections as part of its Human Landing System (HLS) program by the end of next month as it takes into account the reduced funding for the program.
Lots of people in the space community are anxious to see what NASA will do with Human Landing System, Artemis and its other programs. They just need a little more perseverance.
With NASA “down to the wire” in reviewing lunar lander proposals, agency officials say a priority is to maintain competition for a later procurement.
Eleven Democratic members of the U.S. Senate have asked President Joe Biden to maintain “robust funding” of NASA’s Human Landing System program given uncertainties about how the agency will proceed with that effort.