NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted, “The cost-saving success of @Commercial_Crew is based on @NASA establishing high-level requirements and letting private companies innovate. For the Artemis Moon base, NASA will establish a cost per ton delivered and once again let private companies innovate.”
Musk, who is also the founder and CEO of electric car company Tesla, tweeted in response, “Wow, this is extremely important!!”
Musk’s company, SpaceX, is currently competing in the Artemis program with two other companies, Blue Origins, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Dynetics, to build a spacecraft capable of landing humans on the moon. The three space outfits will refine their unique concepts over the next nine months and NASA will assess them next February.
Musk also tweeted today that this type of competitive approach to contracts is the best way for the government to operate.
“Outcome-based contracting with multiple competitors is vastly better than cost-plus (especially if sole-sourced), as the former rewards results & latter rewards waste,” Musk tweeted. “Outcome contracting should be applied broadly within government. The difference in results will be incredible.”
SpaceX has a lot of momentum right now as the company recently launched two NASA astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft.
It was the first time in history that a spacecraft developed by a private company launched humans into space. Bridenstine said it marks “a new era in human spaceflight.” Musk was overcome with emotion and said that it “is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilization on Mars, of life becoming multiplanetary, a base on the moon and expanding beyond Earth."
Now NASA and its private partners will push forward with the ambitious goal of putting astronauts on the moon by 2024, which the White House moved up from 2028 last year.