NASA is actively working on Artemis, a space exploration program that includes a mission to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon during this decade. Astronauts will travel from Earth in NASA’s Orion spacecraft which will launch on the space agency’s Space Launch System rocket. SLS gives Orion the boost it needs to reach the Moon, but Orion doesn’t touch down on the lunar surface. A third vehicle called a human landing system is needed to transport astronauts to the surface of the Moon. One year ago, NASA selected three potential partners for providing the human landing system for Artemis 3, the first mission in the program that includes walking on the Moon.
Later today, the U.S. space agency will officially announce which partner it will proceed in funding for development. Ace Washington Post space reporter and author Christian Davenport has scooped the 4 p.m. EDT press conference with source selection details. According to Davenport, SpaceX has won the contract with its Starship-based human landing system bid.