The Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy rocket landed on the Moon carrying goods and scientific equipment.
According to a NASA statement on November 18, SpaceX is one of five companies, alongside Blue Origin, Ceres Robotics, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, selected to participate in the Load Services program. The Commercial Moon (CLPS) is expected to start in 2022. Companies will compete to build boosters and landers with missions to carry scientific goods and equipment to the Moon.
Graphic simulating the Starship landing craft on the surface of the Moon.(Photo: SpaceX).
SpaceX proposed to do the job with a pair of Starship spacecraft and reusable Super Heavy boosters . It is the company's most powerful and advanced launch system, designed for the ambition to send humans to Mars for the first time.
The SpaceX duo, when combined, will be 118m high and 50% wider than the Boeing 747's large jet fuselage. The Starship amphibious ship is capable of carrying 110 tons of payload to the Moon in each flight, many times times than NASA's request.
"CLPS is a great mission we want to accomplish with Starship," emphasized SpaceX President and CEO Gwynne Shotwell. "The company aims to be able to land this lander on the Moon by 2022."
Blue Origin is considered to be SpaceX's biggest competitor as its Blue Moon lander can also carry tons of payload on each flight. Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of advanced development programs at Blue Origin, said on Monday that the design vessel could stay for two weeks on the Moon and launch with the company's New Glenn boosters. .
NASA sees CLPS as the main support project for the Artemis expedition program, which aims to send two astronauts, including the first woman to the Moon, in 2024. In addition to five competing companies that build ships. In addition, nine other companies selected by NASA last November will also participate in the supply of scientific equipment and goods for the CLPS program.