Officials at NASA Challenge SpaceX to Get to the Moon First

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The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown; Now Let’s See How Musk Reacts

These days it seems everyone and their grandmothers are talking about getting back to the Moon’s south pole. Governments across the world, including the EU, China, Russia, and India are looking to explore the lunar surface. They understand that there’s a lot more to learn about the moon in the regions we haven’t explored yet. They also understand that the Moon is a perfect proving ground for the technologies that are going to get us to Mars and eventually beyond. Pretty much everybody gets that except President Beeblebrox. Now, in order to reach the rushed deadline, officials at NASA challenge SpaceX to join them in their efforts to get there first. 

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Previous Plans Have Involved NASA’s Own Craft

NASA’s partnership with SpaceX has been integral to the agency’s missions since the end of the Space Shuttle program. The Artemis mission has so far been dependent on NASA’s own super-heavy rocket called the Space Launch System (SLS). Unfortunately, the SLS costs too much to be a realistic option for landing humans on the moon by 2024. Additionally, the craft’s development has been slow and controversial. 

Meanwhile, Musk and Co. have been developing an extremely ambitious craft called Starship. The people at SpaceX have proven to be old hands at launching re-usable craft to get stuff into space. Their Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets continue to supply the ISS with cargo reliably and effectively. Starship, however, isn’t fully developed yet.

Starship is currently in the prototype testing phase.  Last week SpaceX successfully launched a small scale version of the craft — Starhopper — in a 20-meter hop test. 

Politics Likely Caused the NASA Challenge — SpaceX Will Probably Bite.

Elon Musk announces plans to get to Mars

Elon Musk announces plans to get to Mars

In April, Vice President Mike Pence cut four years off of NASA’s Artemis deadline. Since then, Trump hasn’t gotten off of his junk about why we can’t just go directly to Mars. These things have caused massive shakeups in NASA leadership, however, the SLS still has a lot of political support. Because of that, the program has been hard to scrap.

Musk, however, said a new “final” design for his Starship will be unveiled later this month. He’s boasted about the project, saying that it will be the first craft to carry people to Mars. The SpaceX founder also said that he plans to land the craft on the moon by 2021. 

Despite a complete lack of confidence in the craft’s ability to fly on the part of Jim Dewit, the time crunch more than likely made the CFO of NASA challenge SpaceX. Dewit told a business insider that if Musk can land Starship on the Moon, there would be many contracts waiting for SpaceX.

So far, Musk hasn’t responded, but it’s not like him to back down from a challenge, so let’s all grab some popcorn and get ready to watch the show.


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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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