NASA announced on Tuesday (9) that SpaceX will be responsible for launching its Advanced Housing and Logistics Post (HALO) and the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), two key modules of the future Gateway orbital station, which will be transported after May 2024 by a Falcon Heavy rocket.
The $ 331.8 million (R $ 1.8 billion) deal, NASA’s second with SpaceX in less than a week, is another step in building the future space station in lunar orbit that, when completed, will serve as an intermediate base for astronauts and equipment that will go to the Moon as part of the Artemis program.
The energy and propulsion element (PPE) will cost NASA $ 375 million and provide power to the Gateway, allowing the station to move to different lunar orbits. HALO will cost less, US $ 187 million, and will be pressurized accommodation for astronauts on their way to the moon.
Although it is outsourcing several stages of the Artemis Project to accelerate the fulfillment of the schedule, last January NASA postponed the granting of two landing contracts, from the end of February to the end of April, according to The Verge, which could impact the ambitious goal of reaching the moon in 2024.