- SpaceX has been awarded a contract by Texas-based aerospace firm Firefly.
- The task order requires SpaceX to launch Firefly’s Blue Ghost moon lander in 2023.
- The lander will be propelled into space by a Falcon 9 rocket.
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SpaceX has been selected by aerospace company Firefly to fly its Blue Ghost lunar lander to the moon in 2023, on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Blue Ghost will be carrying 10 payloads for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services. The mission forms part of a $93.3 million task order, as well as separately contracted commercial payloads, the space agency reported.
In an announcement, Shea Ferring, Firefly’s SVP of Spacecraft, said: “Firefly is excited to fly our Blue Ghost spacecraft on the highly reliable Falcon 9, which will deliver NASA instruments and technology demonstration payloads that support NASA science goals and NASA’s Artemis program.”
She added: “The high performance of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle permits a lunar transit using minimal Blue Ghost propulsion resources, thereby allowing the lander to deliver more than 150 kg of payload to the lunar surface.”
The NASA deal, which was agreed in February, involves the delivery of 10 research payloads, as part of the agency’s mission to conduct experiments and other technology demonstrations on the moon to investigate surface conditions.
Texas-based Firefly is yet to launch anything but in June, it hopes to conduct rocket testing for small satellite launches, Space.com reported.
Named after a rare type of firefly species, Blue Ghost will land at Mare Crisium in the moon’s Crisium basin and conduct operations for a complete lunar day, which is about 14 days on Earth.
Tom Markusic, Firefly’s CEO, said in a blogpost: “Firefly is excited to leverage the performance and reliability of Falcon 9 to propel Blue Ghost on the first phase of its journey to the Moon.”
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