back to article Firefly gets nod from NASA to deliver Lunar Pathfinder to the Moon

Firefly Aerospace has won a second NASA contract to take hardware to the Moon – including the hotly anticipated Lunar Pathfinder satellite that will serve as a communication relay between future Lunarians and Earthlings. The award, worth just under $112 million, will see Firefly deliver the Lunar Pathfinder into the Moon's …

  1. John Robson Silver badge

    Does Falcon Heavy not exist?

    "So far, government-designed rockets have been necessary to get spacecraft and humans to the Moon, and the only commercial project attempting to reach that far into space is Elon Musk's SpaceX and its yet-to-reach-orbit Starship."

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Does Falcon Heavy not exist?

      Falcon Heavy hasn't launched any Lunar-bound payloads (yet). Falcon 9 did launch the 'Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite' on a Lunar flyby, although I suppose it doesn't count, because it was only really using it for a gravity assist. And of course, Firefly's first mission is currently scheduled to fly to the moon on an F9.

      The obvious rocket that's been missed out though is RocketLab's Electron, which has already launched a (fairly small) payload to Lunar orbit (CAPSTONE).

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Does Falcon Heavy not exist?

        It’s initial test load went a hell of a lot further than the moon.

        But you’re right, I’d forgotten capstone and electron.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does Falcon Heavy not exist?

      And yay, the God Emperor of Mars, He Who Shall Be Obeyed, the Mystical and Ethereal Elon doth spake that no other rockets shall come before SpaceX. For there were no rockets before SpaceX and the thralls thundered their applause, while the children were entranced.

      The Book of Elon, Chapter 3, verse 17.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does Falcon Heavy not exist?

      I thought RocketLab had already gone there last year?

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    $112 million

    If you have gone with $112 million to an estate, mandem would have sorted you out with special pills, that would not only send you and your pathfinder to the moon, but also to another dimension.

    Just saying

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leave it to Reaver

    Firefly, will we finally be able to communicate with the current occupants of the far side?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leave it to Reaver

      As far as I recall, Reavers weren't particularly articulate - their communications with Serenity were mostly done with ammunition..

  4. Peter X
    Happy

    +1 for "Shiny"

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pirate

      Another +1 for "Leave It To Reaver" & "Shiny".

      Lets Be Bad Guys, cos I aim to misbehave.

  5. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    "The company is planning a mission to the Moon's orbit and back for later this year that will be crewed by a Japanese billionaire and a "crew of artists, content creators, and athletes from all around the world," because science is for nerds. "

    The words "B ark" spring to mind

  6. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Was Ellie Arroway's plea in vain?

    > "crew of artists, content creators, and athletes from all around the world,"

    So, still not sending a poet.

    And why does the phrase "content creator" make me think some TikTok "influencer" is more likely to be sent than, say, Tom Scott? Or Colin Furze - at least he could build an escape capsule if something went awry.

    1. zuckzuckgo Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Was Ellie Arroway's plea in vain?

      >So, still not sending a poet.

      And what about those retired telephone sanitary engineers. May not be as useful as a poet, but more useful than most "infuencers".

  7. james 68

    Why oh why

    So they're giving the contract to a company which has no track record of success, is already a year behind on its prior contract and has no rockets of its own to launch anything anywhere. At least they have a spiffy name.

    Another normal day for the geniuses in government procurement then.

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