In recent time, NASA assigned around $3 Billion to Lockheed Martin to develop three Orion capsules, to facilitate US astronauts to revisit to the Moon by 2024. The megadeal demands a first phase comprising three capsules for a whopping $2.7 Billion for Artemis operations III to V and to take astronauts to the Moon. Every capsule has the capacity to carry four astronauts. A statement by NASA reported the space agency intends to order three more capsules in the fiscal year 2022 for operations VI to VIII, for approximately $1.9 Billion. Additional six capsules might be requested later. Jim Bridenstine—NASA’s Administrator—said, “This contract obtains Orion production from the next decade, showing NASA’s obligation to establish a supportable presence at the Moon to bring back novel knowledge and set up for sending astronauts to Mars.”
The Orion capsule should be capable of bringing astronauts to the Moon and later back, and it should also be able to travel to Mars. Bridenstine further added, “Orion is a highly capable and cutting edge spaceship, designed purposely for deep space operations with astronauts, and an important part of NASA’s communications for Artemis operations and prospect exploration of the solar system.” NASA thinks that ordering the capsules in a group will help the space agency in saving money.
On a similar note, NASA plans to develop operation to hunt for asteroids that are nearby the Earth. After many years of research and unsuccessful proposals, NASA has agreed to go ahead with the advancement of a telescope to look for near-Earth asteroids. Thomas Zurbuchen—NASA’s Associate Administrator for science—stated the agency will go ahead with an operation known as the NEO (Near-Earth Object) Surveillance Mission, which is an idea based on the NEOCam operation that was a finalist in the earlier competition for planetary science missions.