NASA selects Blue Origin for Bezos to build lunar landers for lunar walks


NASA selects Blue Origin for Bezos to build lunar landers for lunar walks

This image provided by Blue Origin shows the Blue Moon lander. Jeff Bezos Blue Origin was awarded a $3.4 billion contract on Friday, May 19, 2023, to develop a lunar lander called Blue Moon. It will be used to carry astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2029. Credit: Blue Origin via AP

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company has won a NASA contract to land astronauts on the moon, two years after losing it to SpaceX.

Blue Origin received a $3.4 billion contract on Friday to lead a team to develop a Lunar lander His name is Blue Moon. It will be used for transportation astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2029, after a crew landing by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

NASA will get astronauts lunar orbit using its own rockets and capsules, but wants private companies to take over from there.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the agency wants different landing options He seeks to return to the moon More than half a century after the end of the Apollo moon shots.

Blue Origin is working on billions of dollars, in addition to a NASA contract, to help establish a permanent presence on the lunar surface.

“We have a lot more to do before we’re successful in landing and returning astronauts,” said John Colouris, vice president of Blue Origin.

Two years ago, Blue Origin sued after NASA awarded a contract to SpaceX for the first moon landing. a Federal judge supported the space agency’s decision.

NASA’s Artemis program, which follows the Apollo moonshots in the 1960s and 1970s. I started successfully test flight late last year. Launched atop NASA’s new moon rocket, the empty Orion capsule entered lunar orbit before returning home.

the The next journey of Artemis It will come late next year when two Canadian and three American astronauts will fly to the moon and back, but not land. Two Americans go down to The surface of the moon aboard a SpaceX Starship on the mission next, no later than late 2025.

Like SpaceX, Blue Origin plans to practice uncrewed moon landings, before putting astronauts on board.

While the shiny stainless-steel Starship has a sci-fi look, the Blue Moon looks more like a traditional capsule perched atop a long legged pod. The latter will stand 52 feet (16 meters) on the lunar surface.

The two companies’ landing vehicles are supposed to be reusable.

Blue Origin will use the still-developed New Glenn rocket to launch its lunar missions from Cape Canaveral. Starship, the largest rocket in the world, It debuted last month from south texas; The test flight ended with an explosive fireball a few minutes into the flight.

The Blue Origin team includes five partners: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper, Astrobotic Technology and Honeybee Robotics.

And according to NASA, only one other bid has been submitted for the contract competition.

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