NASA outlines plans for a second Moon lander to complement SpaceX’s Starship
NASA revealed today plans to create a second human lunar lander for the agency’s Artemis programme, which is the agency’s largest spaceflight endeavour aimed at returning humans to the Moon. To develop the vehicle, the space agency is soliciting proposals for landers capable of transporting humans to and from the Moon’s orbit and surface, with the objective of having them ready by 2026 or 2027 at the earliest.
NASA has already contracted with private partner SpaceX to create a lunar lander for Artemis, which will attempt to place the first woman and person of colour on the Moon. In 2021, the space agency awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion single contract to develop the company’s future Starship spacecraft into a lunar lander capable of transporting humans to and from the lunar surface. NASA and SpaceX are now aiming to make the first Artemis lunar landing in 2025, while that schedule is deemed improbable.