NASA has awards the contract to SpaceX as the initial commercial partner to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the lunar Gateway.
SpaceX will launch a variant of Dragon (Dragon XL), from the Falcon Heavy, optimized to carry more than 5 metric tons of cargo to Gateway in lunar orbit.
“This contract award is another critical piece of our plan to return to the Moon sustainably, The Gateway is the cornerstone of the long-term Artemis architecture and this deep space commercial cargo capability integrates yet another American industry partner into our plans for human exploration at the Moon in preparation for a future mission to Mars.”said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
For as long as 12 years with a 15-year performance period the contract will provide the ability to add new competitive providers. These missions will support NASA’s plans for sustainable exploration with both international and commercial partners, while developing the experience and capabilities necessary to send humans to Mars.
Well played! Congratulations SpaceX for the Artemis Gateway cargo missions!