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Funding breakdown for three lunar landing contracts

Capitalism in space: The contracts awarded by NASA yesterday to build manned lunar landers totaled almost a billion dollars, distributed as follows:

  • Blue Origin: $579 million
  • Dynetics: $253 million
  • SpaceX: $135 million

That Blue Origin got the biggest amount might have to do with the bid’s subcontractors, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. This gives these traditional big space partners, who normally rely on these kinds of government contracts and have little ability to make money outside them, some financing. This will also please their political backers in Congress.

For SpaceX, this is the first time they have taken any government money in connection with Starship. It also appears that NASA is going to stay back and generally let SpaceX develop it without undue interference.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • Jay

    Thanks for the link Bob.
    Reading more on Blue Origin’s design: Blue Origin will be making the descent stage, Lockheed-Martin will make a reusable ascent stage, and Northrop will make the transfer stage. They need a transfer stage to move up and down from the high orbit of the Gateway to low orbit and back.

    Not much info on Dynetics’ design. Looks like the whole thing will go up and down. They do have Sierra Nevada as a sub contractor.

    Seeing that image of SpaceX’s Starship on the Moon reminded me of George Pal’s movie “Destination Moon”.

  • Scott M.

    I like this for a couple of reasons.

    1) It gives NASA’s ‘stamp of approval’ for Starship, or at the very least shows that NASA is keeping a close eye on SS development with an eye towards using it in the future.

    2) The funding for SpaceX is only for development of the ‘lunar lander’ variant. It isn’t on the critical path for SS, so it doesn’t give NASA a ‘nose in the tent’ except for specific technologies. Otherwise my fear would be NASA would start larding up SS with conflicting requirements and we’d wind up with another STS all over again.

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