NASA picks SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch two key pieces of the Lunar Gateway
NASA chose SpaceX’s heavy-lift Falcon Heavy rocket to launch the first two elements of the agency’s Lunar Gateway, a planned outpost orbiting the moon. The two Gateway pieces, a propulsion module and astronaut living quarters, were originally designed to launch separately, but NASA picked SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy as a one-trip solution for $332 million.
Falcon Heavy, SpaceX’s strongest operational rocket, will send both Gateway’s Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and its Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) to space as one integrated payload “no earlier than May 2024,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday night. NASA originally planned to have the PPE, built by Maxar, and HALO, built by Northrop Grumman, mate in space after launching atop…