The agency hopes the initiative could lead to the development of a human landing system that includes a transfer vehicle that astronauts can use from their planned lunar base, the so-called "Gateway to low-lunar orbit". In addition, the lander must have a descent element to transport the astronauts to the lunar surface, as well as an ascension element to carry them back to the gateway. After all, NASA wants the lander and its components to be refueling enough to be reusable.
Some of the participants will work on all these elements, while others only work on one or two. For example, SpaceX only does one study on the Descent Element. In contrast, Blue Origin will produce a descent element study, a transfer vehicle study, and a transfer vehicle prototype.
A few days ago, the administration presented an amendment to the budget for the 2020 budget, adding $ 1