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Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos Win NASA Contracts For Moon Missions

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Nasa has awarded Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos contracts to develop landers to send astronauts to the Moon's surface.

Bezos' Blue Origin, Musk's SpaceX and Alabama-based Dynetics were selected to work on landers under the space agency's Artemis program, which will land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024. NASA is on track for sustainable human exploration of the Moon for the first time in history.

The total combined value for all awarded contracts is $967 million for the 10-month base period.

"With these contract awards, America is moving forward with the final step needed to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024, including the incredible moment when we will see the first woman set foot on the lunar surface," said Nasa's administrator Jim Bridenstine.

"This is the first time since the Apollo era that Nasa has direct funding for a human landing system, and now we have companies on contract to do the work for the Artemis programme."

Blue Origin, founded by Amazon president and CEO Jeff Bezos, is partnering with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to develop its lander. The Integrated Lander Vehicle is a three-stage lander to be launched on its own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system.

Dynetics is developing the Dynetics Human Landing System, which is a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is developing the Starship, fully integrated lander that will use the SpaceX Super Heavy rocket.

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