SpaceX was selected by NASA on Friday to move forward in developing a human landing system to carry the next two U.S. astronauts to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program. One of those astronauts will make history as the first woman on the Moon. “With this award, NASA and our partners will complete the first crewed demonstration mission to the surface of the Moon in the 21st century as the agency takes a step forward for women’s equality and long-term deep space exploration,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA’s associate administrator for Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate. “This is an exciting time for NASA and especially the Artemis team,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, program manager for HLS at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SpaceX’s HLS Starship, designed to land on the Moon, leans on the company’s tested Raptor engines and flight heritage of the Falcon and Dragon vehicles. The Starship architecture is intended to evolve to a fully reusable launch and landing system designed for travel to the Moon, Mars, and other destinations. NASA and its commercial and international partners are returning to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation.
NASA is also developing a plan to build an Arecibo-like telescope on the Moon. To build the LCRT, rock-climbing robots would suspend a kilometer-wide dish inside a lunar crater. The telescope would be nearly three times wider than Arecibo.