NASA Plans to Give SpaceX Some Company on the Moon

It won’t just be SpaceX going to the moon if NASA officials get their wish. That could be a boon to the space dreams of Jeff Bezos.

As part of Artemis, NASA’s program to send astronauts back to the moon, the agency in 2019 looked to hire two companies to provide the landers to take its astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon. But with insufficient financing from Congress, the agency decided in April last year to give just one contract, to SpaceX.

Other companies would have the opportunity to compete for future missions, NASA officials said.

On Wednesday, Bill Nelson, the NASA administrator, said the space agency would soon announce a competition to develop a second lunar lander.

“I promised competition,” Mr. Nelson said, “so here it is.”

The second company would share NASA’s moon missions — about one a year over the course of a decade or so — with SpaceX. “These are not isolated missions,” Mr. Nelson said. Each is going to build on the past progress.”