Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs at NASA's space technology mission directorate, has said SpaceX proposed to invest 10 times the funds NASA plans to allocate for an uncrewed Mars landing mission, Space News reported Thursday.
Jeff Foust writes Reuter said at a NASA Advisory Council meeting in Cleveland that the agency could spend $32 million on the Red Dragon mission to primarily cover technical support for SpaceX through a four-year period.
The financing arrangement is part of an unfunded Space Act Agreement between the company and NASA, Foust reports.
The report said the Red Dragon will be based on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft that the company builds for NASA’s commercial crew program.
The Red Dragon mission was announced in April with a planned 2018 launch date.