Elon Musk’s aerospace manufacturer SpaceX landed a $2.9 billion contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to build a spacecraft to transport astronauts to the Moon as part of the White House’s accelerated 2024 deadline to build systems to transport astronauts to Earth’s natural satellite.

In a post by NASA’s Artemis Program, that was retweeted by NASA, the space agency announced their pick for the project.

NASA’s Artemis tweeted, ”

Today, the #Artemis generation is one step closer to landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.”

SpaceX also took to Twitter to share the news with its followers. It tweeted, “NASA has selected Starship to land the first astronauts on the lunar surface since the Apollo program!”

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As reported by the Washington Post on Friday, SpaceX beat Dynetics Inc, defence contractor and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Bezos had partnered with Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper and Lockheed Martin Corp for the bid. 

Under the White House’s accelerated deadline given to NASA for its moon-to-Mars campaign, the American space agency awarded Dynetics, SpaceX and Blue Origin a contract last year to develop and build lunar landing systems capable of carrying astronauts to the moon by 2024

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NASA is now preparing for long-term settlement plans on the Moon that as per the space agency will help them in reaching Mars later on. It is heavily engaging with private companies equally invested in space explorations. 

“Today, I’m very excited, and we are all very excited to announce that we have awarded SpaceX to continue the development of our integrated human landing system,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, NASA’s Human Landing System program manager, according to AFP inputs.