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Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk to Help NASA Land First Woman and Next Man on Moon

Returning astronauts to the Moon in 2024 could cost about $30 billion, or roughly the same price tag as the Apollo 11 spaceflight when factoring in inflation

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Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

The US space agency has selected 13 firms — including Blue Origin of Jeff Bezos and SpaceX of Elon Musk — to develop space technologies as it prepares to land humans on the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis mission and, later, the Red Planet.

Various NASA centres will partner with the companies — which range from small businesses with fewer than a dozen employees to large aerospace organizations — to provide expertise, facilities, hardware and software at no cost, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We’ve identified technology areas NASA needs for future missions, and these public-private partnerships will accelerate their development so we can implement them faster,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD).

Lockheed Martin will work with NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, to test materials made from metal powders using solid-state processing to improve the design of spacecraft that operate in high-temperature environments.

Blue Origin will collaborate with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Goddard to mature a navigation and guidance system for safe and precise landing at a range of locations on the Moon.

Blue Origin will also partner with Glenn and Johnson to mature a fuel cell power system for the company’s Blue Moon lander.

The system could provide uninterrupted power during the lunar night, which lasts for about two weeks in most locations.

Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

“Blue Origin, Marshall and Langley will evaluate and mature high-temperature materials for liquid rocket engine nozzles that could be used on lunar landers,” said NASA.

SpaceX will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to advance their technology to vertically land large rockets on the Moon. This includes advancing models to assess engine plume interaction with lunar regolith.

SpaceX will also work with Glenn and Marshall to advance technology needed to transfer propellant in orbit, an important step in the development of the company’s Starship space vehicle.

Also Read: Apple Bounces Back in India, Clocks Double-digit Growth

The space agency has doubled down on its next giant leap with the Artemis mission that would take “the first woman and the next man” to the lunar surface.

The programme includes an unmanned mission around the Moon in 2020 and a manned mission that also will orbit the Moon two years later.

Returning astronauts to the Moon in 2024 could cost about $30 billion, or roughly the same price tag as the Apollo 11 spaceflight when factoring in inflation. (IANS)

Next Story

Musk-run Tesla Hits $100-bn Market Value for the First Time

In the third quarter, automotive revenues were $5.35 billion. Tesla said it expected to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles this year, representing 45-65 per cent growth

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Technology Entrepreneur speaking
Elon Musk, a technology entrepreneur. Pixabay

Signalling an all-electric future is coming our way, Elon Musk-run Tesla has hit the $100 billion in stock market valuation for the first time.

Tesla shares were last up 1.4 per cent at $555 after trading was closed on Tuesday, reports CNBC.

The milestone came less than a month after Tesla’s stock crossed $420 — a price Musk tweeted last year which put him in much trouble.

The $100 billion valuation must stay for both one-month and six-month average in order to help Musk get first of 12 tranches of $346 million in a record-breaking pay package.

Tesla is currently valued more than Ford Motor and General Motors combined.

Tesla logo
A Tesla logo is seen in Los Angeles, California. VOA

Musk lost his position as Tesla Chairman after posting a notorious tweet in August last year that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured”.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Musk over the tweet, saying he misled investors by claiming falsely he had lined up funding for the take-private transaction.

Musk reached a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to give up his role as Tesla Chairman and pay a $20 million fine.

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Tesla surprised Wall Street in October by registering a profitable third quarter with a total revenue of $6.3 billion riding on sales of its Model S, Model X and Model 3 electric cars.

In the third quarter, automotive revenues were $5.35 billion. Tesla said it expected to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles this year, representing 45-65 per cent growth. (IANS)