NASA delays moon lander awards as Biden team mulls moonshot program

Views of full moon from behind the snowy hills in Van
Photo by Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

NASA last week quietly delayed its plan to award two high-profile crewed lunar lander contracts, moving the finish line back two months for a crucial program under the Trump administration’s hasty timeline to get astronauts on the moon in 2024. With short funding from Congress and a new administration focused on more pressing national issues, the move was expected.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX, a team of aerospace giants led by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Leidos-owned Dynetics won a combined $967 million in seed funding from NASA last year to develop rivaling concepts for a human lunar landing system. It’s the space agency’s first effort to spend money on astronaut moon landers since the Apollo program in the 1970s.

Last Wednesday, NASA told the…

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