“NASA Selects Three Teams to Develop Revolutionary Moon Buggies”

Intuitive Machines
NASA has given three space companies the chance to design the next generation moon buggy — but only one design will go to space. Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab are developing rugged vehicles intended for astronauts to drive around on the lunar surface, from which NASA may choose as early as next year. The three teams will now enter into a 12-month “feasibility phase” that will culminate in a preliminary design review. NASA declined to specify the dollar value of the awards, though Intuitive Machines said in a statement that it was awarded a $30 million contract. “With NASA’s Artemis campaign, we are building up the capabilities needed to establish a longer-term exploration and presence of the moon,” he said.

“Empowering Entrepreneurs: Artemis Fund Secures $36 Million to Support Diverse Innovators Tackling Complex Challenges”

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The Artemis Fund, which invests in underrepresented founders, closed on its second fund with $36 million in capital commitments. “We really wanted to make sure that our LPs aligned with our long-term goal of backing diverse founders,” Murakhovskaya told TechCrunch. VC investment itself continues to be fairly stagnant in these areas, according to my colleague Dominic-Madori Davis, who crunched the numbers on venture capital funding to these demographics earlier this month. Female founders and co-founders secured more capital overall in 2023 than they did in 2020, according to new Pitchbook research. For Fund II, Artemis intends to continue leading and co-leading investments and will target around 20 new companies.

Artemis Moon Missions Postponed by NASA to Allow SpaceX and Other Companies Additional Time for Technological Advancements

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NASA is pushing back the next two Artemis missions to the moon — including the first crewed lunar mission in over fifty years — by around twelve months in order to give commercial partners more time to develop their technology. The date of the fourth Artemis mission remains unchanged on September 2028. That’s because SpaceX must also develop in-orbit refueling capabilities, as the architecture involves Starship refueling in space before picking up the astronauts. After delivering astronauts to the moon, the Starship HLS must then launch from the surface before docking with Orion. NASA officials also outlined a handful of issues they discovered after the demonstration launch of SLS in late 2022.