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CEDAR PARK, TX (KXAN) – An Austin-area space transportation company will be heading to the dark side of the moon. Firefly Aerospace announced this week they’ve been awarded a contract by NASA to deliver goods to the far side of the moon as part of the space agency’s return to the surface.
The contract has an estimated value of $112 million and will include multiple deliveries. According to representatives with Firefly, this mission will debut the company’s Blue Ghost spacecraft.
The craft will land on the furthest lunar landing site, located on the “dark side of the moon.” This is the side of the moon that does not face the Earth. Communications on this side of the moon are challenging.
Part of Firefly’s mission will be the delivery of the European Space Agency’s Lunar Pathfinder satellite. According to the ESA, this satellite will assist with communications around the moon as missions to the surface begin.
The mission will also deliver a communication system to the surface.
Firefly Aerospace is based in Cedar Park. CEO Bill Webber calls the company one of the area’s “best-kept secrets.” In October of last year, the company broke records by launching a rocket into orbit.
The company plans to launch transport rockets to space, which would include satellites and payloads for people living in outer orbit. They’re currently constructing a lunar lander that will be used by NASA for manned launches in the coming decades.