SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket was selected by NASA to carry the first two segments of the future Gateway space station that will orbit the Moon.
The Gateway station is part of NASA’s Artemis program, whose objective is to resume manned missions to the natural satellite.
The Falcon Heavy’s flight will move the Gateway’s power and room modules.
The mission will cost $ 331.8 million dollars and its takeoff is scheduled for no earlier than May 2024.
Gateway will serve as an outpost for astronauts and crews heading to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program.
About one sixth the size of the International Space Station, Gateway will support research investigations, crews, and expeditions to the lunar surface.
The post will serve as a docking station for visiting spacecraft, such as NASA’s Orion. It will be a stop in transit to the lunar surface.
NASA stopped in late January 2021 the search for a system that will transport astronauts from Gateway to the Moon.
However, NASA is expected to resume reviewing those offers soon.
The modules SpaceX will transport into space are the Power Propulsion Element (PPE) and the Housing and Logistics Outpost (HALO).
These modules are being built by Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman Space Systems, respectively.