NASA has selected SpaceX as the first U.S. commercial provider under the Gateway Logistics Services contract to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency’s Gateway in lunar orbit.
The NASA announcement also revealed a larger version of the SpaceX manned Dragon capsule, Dragon XL.
The SpaceX Dragon XL appears to be bigger than the Dragon Capsule. The extra size may just for the fuel and engines to reach the needed lunar orbit for the Gateway. Steve Jurvetson, billionaire Venture Capitalist and SpaceX investor, says SpaceX Dragon XL will supply 5 tons to the lunar gateway or the moon.
Introducing the @SpaceX Dragon XL
deployed from a Falcon Heavy
carrying 5 metric tons to the moon
Artemis, twin sister of Apollo, aiming to land the first woman on the moon, for a permanent lunar base, For All Our Kind. https://t.co/iqDXnAThfY
— Steve Jurvetson (@FutureJurvetson) March 28, 2020
SpaceX will launch a variant of Dragon, optimized to carry more than 5 metric tons of cargo to Gateway in lunar orbit https://t.co/NdJaFU1xSD
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 27, 2020
NASA is planning multiple supply missions in which the cargo spacecraft will stay at the Gateway for six to 12 months at a time. These firm-fixed price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts for logistics services guarantee two missions per logistics services provider with a maximum total value of $7 billion across all contracts as additional missions are needed.
SOURCES- NASA, Steve Jurvetson, SpaceX
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.