NASA has tapped a type of SpaceX cargo craft that hasn’t yet been built to deliver supplies to a moon-orbiting outpost that hasn’t yet been launched.
SpaceX’s robotic Dragon XL, a cylindrical, supersized version of its workhorse Dragon spacecraft, will handle shipments to the Gateway space platform as the first commercial provider to receive a Gateway Logistics Services contract from NASA.
The contract is similar to NASA’s existing Commercial Resupply Services contracts with SpaceX, Northrop Grumman and Sierra Nevada Corp. for cargo shipments to the International Space Station.
SpaceX’s Dragon XL cargo ships would be launched by the company’s Falcon Heavy rockets to deliver pressurized and unpressurized cargo, including science experiments and crew supplies.
But SpaceX is continuing work on the Crew Dragon capsule in advance of its first crewed trip to space station.

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