The NASA is still waiting to understand how to move about the award of the contract for the construction of the first lunar lander that will bring man back to the moon, as foreseen by the Artemis program. The diatribes between SpaceX and Blue Origin are known, as well as the consequent stop on the activities related to the Human Landing System decided by the space agency itself until November 1st.
At the same time, they are Proposals for the creation of concepts for future lunar missions have been sent to five different companies, all American. These are contracts that provide for work that will last 15 months , against a total loan of 146 million dollars (remember: only for the design phase of the concept, not for the construction of the lander).
- Blue Origin – 25, 6 million dollars
- Dynetics – 40, $ 8 million
- Lockheed Martin – 35, $ 2 million
- Northrop Grumman, 34, $ 8 million
- SpaceX, $ 9.4 million
We repeat: this is not the project for the first moon landing : “ this opportunity is distinct from the missi one manned lunar landing demonstration awarded under the NextSTEP-2 Appendix H contract, which will serve as evidence for the Artemis architecture “. In this case, project work will be carried out for the definition of strategies to be adopted over the years and to meet the requirements “ for a future request by of NASA to provide regular transportation of astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon “.
The five realities will have to make concrete proposals on sustainable moon landing systems, methodologies for risk reduction and will have to provide constant feedback to NASA on the technical feasibility of the lunar landing solutions, on the design, the standards adopted and the tools for protection health of the crews.
All the results and data collected will also be used for the project that will bring man to Mars for the first time in history.
AND IN THE MEANING, ON THE ISS …
On the ISS the astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Pyotr Dubrov will have some p iù, until March 2022 : so NASA and Roscosmos have decided to allow them to carry out the research work currently underway on the international space station. Vande Hei will thus become the longest-staying American in space (with a single trip).
The will of NASA is to evaluate how the human body responds to prolonged conditions of microgravity : the results will be useful for the Artemis missions to the Moon and for that of Mars. Meanwhile, other crew members are engaged in rodent studies, analyzing how weightlessness affects normal skin function and wound healing.