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The final outcome of NASA's tender for launching a manned lunar lander depends on funding.

via:网易科技     time:2019/10/1 19:33:49     readed:113

The landers will be stationed on a new space station called Gateway, which will operate in lunar orbit. It is speculated that astronauts will travel to the Gateway space station on NASA's future spacecraft and then on the lander to the moon.

Specifically, NASA is looking for landers consisting of two to three main components, including the descent stage, the hardware that will drop the spacecraft to the moon's surface, and the ascent stage, which is the equipment that astronauts will take when they take off from the moon and return to Gateway. The third component is called the transfer segment (transfer stage), basically it is towing. Ships can transport the other two components from Gateway to orbit closer to the moon, making it easier for them to enter and exit the moon's surface.

Participants also need to give specific instructions, including how their lunar lander arrives at Gateway. These companies can use commercial vehicles such as SpaceX's Falcon Heavy or Blue Origin's New Glenn; they can also use NASA's future SLS rocket, which is scheduled to launch as early as 2021.

After receiving the bid, NASA ultimately plans to select two of them to actually complete the task of manufacturing the lander and sending it to Gateway. Among them, the first company's lander will complete its first long-awaited manned landing on the moon in 2024, while the second company's lander will make another manned landing in 2025. However, NASA does not intend to use these landers for unmanned test landing.

Some companies have disclosed their plans to the public. Lockhid Martin had previously released its lunar lander design, which comes from the company's Orion (Orion) capsule, which NASA plans to match with the SLS rocket. Jeff Bezos (Jeff Bezos) also demonstrated Blue Origin's blue moon (Blue Moon) lander concept in May.

Although NASA quickly launched a tender, the choice of a lunar lander depends on the budget the agency can get next year. In order to launch the Artemis plan, the Trump administration has asked for an additional $1 billion 600 million for NASA next year in the budget amendment, of which $1 billion is used to develop new lander. However, it is not clear whether NASA will actually receive the additional funds. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed an Appropriation Bill for next year, which greatly increased NASA's budget, but provided only $744.1 million to develop new lunar technology for Artemis.

The final budget for 2020 is still in the process of being determined, but NASA says funding is still the key. Ken Bauer Sox, acting head of NASA's Human Exploration Office, said in testimony to the House Science Committee in September: "this year, what we need is a revision of the budget so that we can get the money and sign a contract for the development and manufacture of landers," Ken Balsox, acting head of NASA's Human Exploration Office, said in a testimony to the House Science Committee in September. Because that's the key to getting to the surface of the moon. "

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