SpaceX Lunar Starship Award is Protected in New Bill

A new amended Senate bill requires that NASA’s nearly $3 billion lunar lander award to SpaceX may not be changed or rescinded in order to comply with the requirement that there be at least two contractors.

The NASA Commercial Crew Program was the effort to get safer human-rated spacecraft after the Shuttle. NASA selected two Boeing and SpaceX to do the work. Congress underfunded the Commercial Crew program for years. This ended up costing years of delays.

Congress had only provided one-fourth of the NASA request for the Lunar Lander. NASA gave all of that amount to SpaceX.

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos and partners Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Leidos have Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell try to get another $10 billion awarded for their Lunar Lander.

Congress would have to boost NASA’s 2022 budget by 10% to fund the new $10 billion. There would be a budget fight every year for four more years to keep the increase in NASA’s budget. If the budget fight is lost in any year then there would be an underfunding and potential lengthy delays in the development of Lunar Landers.

SOURCES – Senate
Written By Brian Wang,

9 thoughts on “SpaceX Lunar Starship Award is Protected in New Bill”

  1. No, I meant what I said. Not all capitalist systems are crony capitalism, though they tend to evolve in that direction.

  2. I don't know what Musk thinks he's doing here unless he _still_ hasn't gotten the message, after lowering the cost of access to space on his own dime (watch the twits start screeching who don't understand the difference between being paid for launch service and being paid to develop a launch system) while everyone who the government funded to lower the cost of access to space is being left in the dust.

    If I were China, I'd definitely insist on NASA giving Musk lots of contracts for technology development so as to turn SpaceX into another Big Aerospace Contractor, thereby giving China a chance to demonstrate its better at communism by catching up with SpaceX.

  3. It would be great if they go on to pick the Dynetics lander as the second choice. The look on Bezos face would be priceless.

  4. In a crony capitalist system, political engineering has a higher rate of return than mechanical engineering.

  5. It is ridiculous that the losers of the bid is going to get much more money throwing at them than the winner of the bid.

  6. Factors: NOAA hearings were very pro commercial contract, for commercially avail sensors for climate watch, but in the end, their goal was "a sustainable presence on the Earth". No hint of knowledge of Space Solar of any kind. Nelson hearing, very strong pro commercial sentiment, also redundancy for lunar lander. Same with deputy admin. Then, they all end up saying "Moon then Mars". The commercial interest is all in SPACE, not Mars (even by Musk) or even Moon except for resources. Unless paid to do it, of course. The whole mess is because so few understand O'Neill. Perhaps Bezos will have a comment. The balance between Lunar Halo Gateway (if any!) and lunar surface base (if any!) will test our understanding of important matters such as: Is the surface of a planet, such as Earth, Mars or the Moon, the right place for an expanding tech civ?

  7. It was amended as a substitute, which is to say, only the name and Senate bill number remain. So forget the original list of sponsors, which predate this particular act, it is effectively a new bill, and has only been introduced in committee at this point. Starts over from scratch.

    Man, there's a lot of unrelated stuff in there, log rolling is definitely back.

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