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Bill Nelson: NASA Gets Assurance Musk’s Twitter Purchase Won’t Distract SpaceX

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Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has prompted NASA to ask whether the transaction would have an impact on the business magnate’s rocket company, SpaceX, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said he was assured by SpaceX President and four-time Wash100 awardee Gwynne Shotwell that the purchase of the social media platform would not distract the launch services provider from its mission.

The administrator’s statement comes as NASA prepares for its next mission under the Artemis lunar exploration program.

On Sunday, NASA’s uncrewed Orion spacecraft returned to Earth and made a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean after 25.5 days of traveling around the moon as part of the Artemis I mission.

Artemis I is an unmanned flight test that lifted off in November to assess the performance of the Space Launch System rocket and the capabilities of Orion to support future lunar exploration missions.

In November, SpaceX secured a potential $1.15 billion contract modification from NASA to continue development work on its Starship human landing system and provide a second crewed demonstration landing on the moon as part of the Artemis program.

Nelson said SpaceX plans to launch Starship for an uncrewed lunar landing in 2023 and a manned test in 2024.