The United States space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has picked Elon Musk’s SpaceX for its Artemis programme, to develop the first commercial lander and take the next two US astronauts to the moon. The total value of this contract is $2.89 billion.
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Under this contract:
- SpaceX will develop a spacecraft ‘SpaceX Starship’ to land next to two US astronauts, including a women astronaut at the lunar south pole region, by 2024.
- NASA also aims to bring the first person of colour to the moon’s surface as part of the Artemis programme.
- Between 1969 and 1972, the US brought 12 astronauts to the moon.