Who is Elon Musk?
Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. ... britannica.comElon Musk | Biography & Facts
"It is one more step, in an exciting group of steps, that will get us to a sustainable human landing system to the moon," Kathy Lueders, the leader of NASA's human spaceflight program, said in the agency's announcement.
SpaceX's contract is worth $2.89 billion. The Washington Post first reported SpaceX's win on Friday.
NASA last year awarded the three teams with $967 million and 10-month contracts to begin work on the lunar lander concepts under its Human Landing Systems, or HLS, program. SpaceX was awarded the least amount of those three, with $135 million. Meanwhile, Dynetics received $253 million and Blue Origin had won $579 million.
NASA was expected to choose two of the three teams, making the sole selection of SpaceX a surprise given the agency's prior goals for the program to continue to be a competition.
For the HLS program, Musk's company bid a variation of its Starship rocket, prototypes of which SpaceX has been testing at its development facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The company has performed multiple successful test flights of Starship to date, although landing attempts after the last four high-altitude flights ended in a variety of fiery explosions.
NASA said its astronauts will use Starship to transfer from the agency's Orion spacecraft when the capsule reaches lunar orbit.
HLS is a part of NASA's Artemis mission to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.
The mission was announced by President Donald Trump's administration. President Joe Biden's press secretary has indicated the current administration expects to continue with Artemis.
Bezos' space company unveiled its plans to build a crewed lunar lander in 2019, announcing it would partner with industry giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper in the effort. Leidos-owned Dynetics teamed up with Sierra Nevada Corporation for its concept and was seen as a dark horse in the race.
Got a confidential news tip? We want to hear from you.
Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox
Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services.
Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis.
Read full article at CNBC