SpaceX Could Submit Moon Lander For NASA Competition
SpaceX is reportedly planning on submitting their plans for a moon lander as part of NASA's upcoming competition to develop a lander for the future 2028 moon missions.
The new lender would be human-rated and allow astronauts to travel from the future moon space station, which NASA plans to build, to the surface of the moon and back again.
It's unclear what type of design SpaceX could use for this lander. It may be similar to their plans for the original Crew Dragon which would have landed back on earth using propulsive engines allowing it to land back on a pad similar to how the current Falcon 9 boosters land. This plan was eventually scrapped as it was deemed too difficult to get the lander properly rated by NASA, and instead, future Crew Dragons will land back in the ocean like past Apollo missions.
There is also the possibility that SpaceX will merely submit their Starship design as the lander for the moon. The huge spaceship, currently under development by SpaceX, is designed to land back on Earth, Mars, and the Moon so it wouldn't be impossible for Starship to ferry astronauts to and from the moon space station to the surface. Maybe even bringing them to the station in the first place.
SpaceX is already targeting a mid-2020 launch of Starship and Super Heavy to bring tourists for a trip around the moon. So if the ship is ready for then, it's not impossible it could be used by NASA also.
There has yet to be any official announcement by SpaceX or Elon Musk about the company submitting a lander to NASA at the time of writing this article.