On March 13, 2019, while speaking to the Senate committee, Jim Bridenstine said that for one of the lunar test flight, NASA is planning to use commercial rockets. The statement from NASA has given Space X an opportunity to make contracts with the space agency.
While speaking to the press, Jim Bridenstine said that the space agency is planning to launch the rockets by 2020. Mr. Bridenstine also said that NASA will also consider launching Orion capsule and module for European service through the help of commercial rockets. Mr. Bridenstine gave more emphasis on buying two heavy commercial rockets though NASA has an SLS rocket. Further speaking to the press Mr. Bridenstine said that at the present U.S have two great possibilities for outer space programs which are United Launch Alliance as well as Space X.
Jim Bridenstine advocated for Space X’s rockets as they are lower in cost and can take an uplift heavy amount of objects into space. At present, the price of one Space X’s rocket is about $150 million which is too less in comparison to Delta IV which was priced around $350 million for a single launch. This is the reason why Elon Musk’s company has made a deal in some of the major space deals since 2017.
In an exclusive interview, Chad Anderson told the reporters that NASA would pay more than the price of Musk’s space rocket if they want to give preference to the speed. He further stated that Space X is the company which has created a big benchmark in providing rockets for space missions.
As per the program, NASA is planning to launch the EM 1 lunar mission for that the space agency had purchased SLS rocket which was made by Boeing. The Rocket also has to launch Orion which would carry the astronauts to the moon. During a press conference, Mr. Bridenstine said that since the SLS program has been delayed since a couple of years, thus NASA has started to look for alternative options.