SpaceX Starship Landing System to Put Humans on the Moon for NASA in 2027 With Artemis IV

SpaceX Starship Landing System to put more humans on the Moon 7 photos
Photo: SpaceX
Artemis I rocketArtemis I rocketArtemis I rocketArtemis I rocketArtemis I rocketArtemis I rocket
At the time of writing, the Space Launch System rocket (SLS) and the Orion capsule are both getting ready to depart the launch pad and head for the Moon in the opening mission of the Artemis program. But NASA is not solely focused on this task, and announced a change of plans for subsequent ones as well.
Artemis will rely on SLS rockets to depart, on Orion spaceships to reach the destination, and on SpaceX hardware to land on the Moon. That SpaceX hardware is called Starship Human Landing System (HLS) and it was already known to be the backbone of both "an uncrewed and a crewed lunar landing demonstration” during the Artemis III mission taking place later this decade.

The American Space Agency said on November 16 it has tasked SpaceX with further developing the landing system for the Artemis IV mission as well. The revised version of the HLS should also be capable of docking with the planned Gateway lunar space station.

“Continuing our collaborative efforts with SpaceX through Option B furthers our resilient plans for regular crewed transportation to the lunar surface and establishing a long-term human presence under Artemis,” said in a statement Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager for the Human Landing System program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

“This critical work will help us focus on the development of sustainable, service-based lunar landers anchored to NASA’s requirements for regularly recurring missions to the lunar surface.”

Aside for the SpaceX solution, NASA is looking for another lunar landing system as well, for which it launched a solicitation earlier this year. This one is open to all American companies interested in taking part in this space exploration program.

UPDATE: Artemis I is officially on the way to the Moon following a clean launch of the SLS rocket.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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