According to the plan, the spacecraft “Orion” with four aviators departed the earth with the large rocket “SLS” and arrived over the moon over several days. After that, two of them changed to the manned lander “HLS (Human Landing System)” and got off on the moon. Exploring the lunar surface for about a week, returning to the sky with HLS, and returning to Earth with Orion.
The contract amount is 2.89 billion dollars (about 310 billion yen). In addition to the company, Blue Origin, which was founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and two space development companies of Dynetics, which is based in Alabama, were also candidates for HLS development. A document released by NASA on the 16th states that of the three companies, SpaceX offered an “overwhelming lowest price.”
NASA has outsourced the development and operation of manned spacecraft for the current International Space Station (ISS) to two companies, SpaceX and Boeing, to ensure realization. HLS is also considering contracts with multiple companies to increase the competitiveness of the company, but in the end, it was narrowed down to one company due to budget constraints. SpaceX has a track record of realizing the manned spacecraft “Crew Dragon” for the ISS.
“This important step will keep humanity moving towards sustainable lunar exploration and will continue to look to distant activities in the solar system, such as Mars,” said Kathy Lueders, a NASA manned spaceflight executive. Stated. “I’m honored to join the Artemis program team,” Elon Musk, who heads SpaceX, posted on Twitter.
The United States plans to explore the moon through international cooperation with a view to manned Mars exploration in the 2030s. The manned lunar landing for the first time in half a century since Apollo was originally scheduled for 28 years, but the Trump administration (at that time) decided to move it forward in the spring of 2019, and it will be realized in 2012. Japan, Europe, and Canada have announced their participation in the lunar exploration. In July last year, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and NASA announced a joint declaration mentioning Japanese landing opportunities on the moon, and if HLS is realized, Japanese landing will come into view.