New Australian partnership with NASA

Australian Government Commits to Join NASA in Lunar Exploration and Beyond

New Australian partnership with NASA

The US space agency plans to order three more Orion capsules in the fiscal year 2022 for the Artemis missions VI-VIII, for a total of $1.9 billion, NASA said in a press release.

According to the independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, "NASA's Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they've ever gone before".

The Artemis program is the next step in human space exploration. "Driving down cost and manufacturing them more efficiently and faster will be key to making the Artemis program a success", said Mike Hawes, Orion program manager for Lockheed Martin Space. With NASA only committing to purchasing the first three Orion spacecraft, it is not a stretch to consider that the second set of three spacecraft many never receive the $1.9 billion in funding.

Australian Government Commits to Join NASA in Lunar Exploration and Beyond

Artist rendering of NASA's Orion spacecraft as it travels 40,000 miles past the Moon during Artemis I, its first integrated flight with the Space Launch System rocket.

For the first missions, NASA is already in an advanced stage with the first examples of the Orion capsule, built by Lockheed Martin together with Airbus.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has received a potential $4.6B indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from NASA to produce six Orion spacecraft to transport astronauts to the moon.

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The agency on Monday awarded the Orion Production and Operations Contract (OPOC) to regular collaborator Lockheed Martin.

"NASA fully supports the idea of space security", he said. The staggered approach lets NASA take advantage of improvements in the supply chain to lower costs. "The Australian Space Agency will work with NASA on how it can support a significant part of its mission".

Today's announcement signals NASA's long-term commitment to its Artemis program for lunar exploration and settlement, with a crewed lunar landing planned for as early as 2024.

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- It might be easier to just land (Space X craft) Starship on the moon rather than to convince NASA that it is possible.

Notice how the Orion spacecraft ordered don't start supporting the Artemis missions until the third one? Orion capsules must also be reusable at least once.

NASA said that the task "includes all our attempts to bring people back to the Moon- they'll prepare us and propel us to Mars". Numerous missions will be in support of the Gateway, a small space station built in lunar orbit.

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