SpaceX will take NASA to the moon – maybe

Two years ago, NASA called on the largest space companies in the United States to build this.Human landing system“Sending American astronauts back to the moon. Last year three teams signed to do it, and NASA exited. 67 967 million contracts Jeff Bezos’ blue look (in collaboration) to help Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) And Northrop Krumman (NYSE: NOC)), Read Holdings (NYSE: LDOS) Sub Dynamics, and Elon Muskin SpaceX design and build prototypes for NASA selection.

This month, NASA finally chose its winner: SpaceX.

Image Source: SpaceX.

Washington Post reports, NASA decides

In a story you know, Jeff Bezos’ biscuit must have burned, Washington Post (It also belongs to Bezos) Announced Last week SpaceX “won Jeff Bezos’ blue look and dynamics”. 9 2.9 billion, paid in installments, “fits into NASA’s current fiscal budget”, NASA will hire SpaceX for:

  • Build a starship spacecraft,
  • Chop it up with the Orion spacecraft (which will be delivered into lunar orbit by NASA’s “Space Launch System” rocket),
  • Take two astronauts aboard,
  • Land them on the moon, then
  • Bring them back up to climb Orion to return to Earth.

As NASA explained, while SpaceX’s starship is still in development, the rocket’s enormous potential promises to “greatly improve scientific operations” on the moon. Perhaps more importantly, SpaceX’s auction “is too low [bid] “The auction of Lidos and the auction submitted by Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin and Northrobe Groman are both described.”Significantly higher“More than the price of SpaceX.

The reason: SpaceX was already building starships on its own currency as part of Elon Musk’s mission Colonization of Mars. Because SpaceX was willing to pay “more than half of the development and testing activities” to build a starship, it was able to charge NASA much less than other bidders. In fact, SpaceX probably sees the moon deal NASA Helps to pay for some SpaceX Growth costs, on the contrary!

The losers said

Not everyone is happy with NASA’s decision. After absorbing the initial shock, both Dynamics and Blue Origin filed objections to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Monday.

In a report to SpaceNews.com, Dynamics questioned “many aspects of the acquisition process and the components of NASA’s technical evaluation.” NASA rated Dynamics management as “very good”, but cited concerns about the weight of the Dynamics lander as “moderate” in its efforts for technical quality. In addition, the Dynamics auction seems to have been worth more than $ 6 billion – far more than NASA budgeted for this quarter Artemis Project.

The Blue Origin auction is worth less than $ 6 billion, more than twice the price of SpaceX. Blue Origin, which accuses NASA of running a “flawed acquisition” contest, has accused the space agency of “moving goal posts at the last minute”. Although it is not mentioned How NASA moves to Colposts, offering only one human lander contract “eliminates competition opportunities, significantly reduces distribution base, and … delays [and] The United States is in danger of returning to the moon. ”

From that language, it seems that Blue Origin believed that NASA would select two winners, as initially thought. When it submitted a higher effort than SpaceX but less than Dynamics, Blue Origin would have been the logical winner of any second deal. So Blue Origin will now ask – GAO is not about plucking the success of SpaceX, but it is demanding a second contract with Blue Origin for the NASA Award.

Alternatively, as SpaceX did, Blue could try to pay for its efforts in installments, as well as fit “within NASA’s current budget,” Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith suggested in a statement. Mail. This does not change the fact that Blue’s auction costs twice as much as SpaceX, but it may give NASA the financial flexibility to award a second contract.

What comes next

Normally, the dual GAO demonstrations of SpaceX’s NASA agreement would drag Lander’s work to a bad halt and suspend it until GAO issues a decision (s) – This must be done within 90 days. However, in the present case, SpaceX already builds starship prototypes in its own currency, and not implicitly Required NASA’s money to continue the spacecraft’s development, SpaceX will continue to operate.

However, in terms of challenges – Dynamics parent Leidos, and Blue Origin partners Lockheed and Northrobe – investors in those companies should set aside their time and expect the best. The GAO will consider its challenges by the end of July, and once the GAO decides, NASA wants to “begin work immediately on the follow-up competition,” which will travel on a fixed basis “to provide continuous service on the lunar surface.” ”

“9 2.9 billion” sounds great, that’s for sure Only the beginning These companies hope to earn from NASA returning to the moon.

This article reflects the author’s opinion that he does not agree with the “official” recommendation status of the Motley Fool Premium Consulting Service. We are Motley! Questioning an investment thesis – even our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that will help us be smarter, happier, and richer.

Sophia Harrison

Part time worker

I'm Sophia Harrison working as a part-time staff at the Costco since the past year until I become as an author at the iron blade, hope I can use my experiences with the supermarkets here.

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