As it teased earlier in the week, NASA has awarded contracts in its quest for a Moon landing — and it’s a big win for the upstarts in the spaceflight industry. The administration has chosen Blue Origin, SpaceX and IT firm Dynetics to compete against each other in developing lunar landing systems for the Artemis program. Blue Origin received the largest award due to its significant early progress, receiving $579 million, while Dynetics’ team-up with Sierra Nevada earned it $253 million. SpaceX received $135 million to help with its Starship-based project.
The contracts last through February 2021 and task the companies with performing initial demonstration missions. After that, NASA will pick at least two of the companies to develop more mature systems on its way to final landing hardware.