SpaceX showed the concept of a lunar elevator for landing and takeoff of astronauts from the surface of the moon

Space race among private companies,seeking a NASA contract to build a lunar lander is gaining momentum. The US space agency's decision to award a contract for the demonstration of full-size lunar landing devices from one or two of the three candidates will be provided either "in the next few weeks" or in April. Currently, the leader in the race among companies Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX is the firm founded by Elon Musk, which built and displayed a prototype of the lunar elevator equipment "in a very short period of time."

NASA Human Landing System (HLS) Programis currently considering three suppliers for prototyping lunar modules. During the distribution of funding for work in April 2020, the SpaceX project was recognized as the most risky. SpaceX's lunar module should be significantly heavier and taller than competing devices. It was the height (from 8 to 10 meters) of the lunar elevator, with the cabin at the top, that caused the fears of NASA representatives. Ever since the Apollo mission, descending steep stairs in a heavy, clumsy spacesuit to the lunar surface has been considered dangerous and risky.

As a result of SpaceX's HLS programonly $ 135 million was allocated, while competitors received significantly larger sums: Dynetics - $ 250 million, and Blue Origin - $ 570 million.

However, for $ 820 million providedSpaceX's rivals, NASA currently only received paper-based designs and two "low-quality mockups" made of cardboard, foam and wood. Meanwhile, Musk's company, in 10 months after receiving 135 million, conducted at least 12 firing static tests of prototypes, made four test launches of Starship spacecraft designed to deliver astronauts to the Moon and back. Eight full-scale prototypes of the spacecraft were built and demonstrated the Starship Moon space elevator concept for NASA.

Source: teslarati

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