As NASA tries to land on the Moon, it has plenty of rockets to choose from

If you want to buy a commercial SLS launch, you also need to rent the mobile launcher from NASA.

Enlarge / If you want to
buy a commercial SLS launch, you also need to rent the mobile
launcher from NASA. (credit: NASA)

Last week, NASA held an “industry day” for companies hoping to
win lunar lander contracts from the government as part of its
Artemis program. During the teleconference, industry officials
could ask questions about NASA’s plans for how best to get
astronauts from an orbit around the Moon, down to the surface, and
safely back.

After Vice President
Mike Pence established
the goal of landing humans on the Moon
by 2024, NASA officials have been working overtime throughout the
last six months to put together mission plans and architectures to
meet this deadline. The effort culminated in the release last week
of
a solicitation
that asks industry for designs of a human
landing system.

There is a lot to digest in this document, which contains
three-dozen attachments and several amendments. And industry
officials must respond quickly, with a Nov. 1 deadline to return
proposals. After reviewing the submissions, NASA will award two or
more contracts that will allow firms to move into the final design
and development of Artemis Program lunar landers. The agency would
like to have two different designs move forward toward completion,
believing that competition will result in faster, better hardware.
But this may not be possible due to uncertain funding from
Congress.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
As NASA tries to land on the Moon, it has plenty of rockets to choose from