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NASA picks Blue Origin-led team to build second human landing system on the moon, joining SpaceX


NASA has chosen a Blue Origin-led team to develop a second lunar landing system for the Artemis program, as the agency looks to provide competition with SpaceX and support long-term exploration of the moon.
The winning team includes Lockheed Martin, Draper, Boeing, Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics.
The award includes an uncrewed demonstration landing and a crewed demonstration landing. NASA aims to use this vehicle and Starship to ferry astronauts between the lunar surface and an under-development space station it calls “Gateway” in order to enable a permanent human presence on the moon.
Under this award, the Blue Origin-led team will develop the landing system for the Artemis V mission, which is currently set to launch no earlier than September 2029. SpaceX’s two missions are scheduled for Artemis III and Artemis IV.
NASA selected SpaceX to develop a Starship human landing system in April 2021 at a price of around $2.9 billion. It was notable at the time that the agency selected only one vendor for the task – so notable, in fact, that competitors Blue Origin and Dynetics filed protests with a major government watchdog over the decision. Those protests were dismissed.
However, pressure on the agency to select a second vendor mounted from other sources — notable Congress — and last March NASA announced it would open competition for a second landing system. For that reason, SpaceX was not eligible to compete for this contract. However, it and this team will be eligible …

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