SpaceX may be the undisputed leader in commercial space flight, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the most capable company to land on the moon, according to a new NASA assessment,media reported. Last week, NASA announced three companies it will work with to help it send human astronauts to the moon in the coming decades.
In addition to spaceX, which currently looks the most competitive, Blue Origin and Dynetics are among them.
However, according to Space News, NASA’s view of SpaceX is different from that of the two companies. SpaceX, which has been a partner at NASA, appears skeptical about the company’s role in its Artemis lunar mission.
It is understood that NASA evaluated all potential partners when selecting sources of funding for the upcoming lunar mission. Blue Origin received NASA’s Very Good rating on its management rating and its “acceptable” rating on technology, indicating that the company has the ability to rely on it to develop landers that can send humans to the lunar surface. Dynetics has “very good” ratings in both respects. What about SpaceX? It doesn’t look so optimistic.
NASA is understood to have given SpaceX a “acceptable” rating for technology and management, making it the weakest of the three companies.
According to INFORMATION provided by NASA on the assessment documents, the reason for getting such a low rating is related to the many delays That SpaceX has suffered in the past. Despite the company’s track record of success and valuable experience in developing complex aerospace hardware, SEP believes it has a significant weakness in its past performance that it considers noteworthy.
Specifically, SpaceX’s performance on two related contracts – the commercial launch contract for the manned Dragon spacecraft and the heavy-duty Falcon launch rocket Air Force/Sub-Orbital Program 3 (OSP-3) — show considerable progress delays.
The assessment also noted that these delays reduced NASA’s resource assessment team’s confidence in SpaceX’s ability to successfully implement its proposed HLS development plan. The document also notes that past delays may be positive, as the “lessons learned” from these projects may allow companies to successfully deliver on new commitments.