Blue Origin is one of six companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation. Pictured here, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifted off July 18 carrying five NASA-supported technologies to flight test in space.
Credit: Blue Origin

 

 

Here’s an upshot from Blue Origin work in landing the group’s New Shepard suborbital rocketry.

NASA has announced new partnerships to develop space exploration technologies.

A new award to Blue Origin is to advance sensor technologies to enable landing anywhere on the Moon’s surface.

This project will mature critical technologies that enable precision and soft landing on the Moon.

Credit: Blue Origin/Screengrab

Navigation sensor work

The project team will integrate Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN), navigation doppler lidar, and altimetry sensors and conduct flight tests prior to lunar mission Pimplementation.

Testing will be performed at approximately 100 km altitude on board the Blue Origin New Shepard vertical takeoff vertical landing suborbital vehicle that has already undergone multiple test flights. The resulting sensor suite would exercise the ability to make precision landing anywhere on the lunar surface.

Ostensibly , this new award fits well within Blue Origin’s Blue Moon plans – an effort by the group to prepare the Earth’s Moon for an Amazon.com-like delivery service to the lunar surface, furthering the permanent settlement of humans on the lunar landscape.

Tipping point .

Blue Origin was one of six companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation announced today.

According to a NASA statement, a technology is considered at a “tipping point” if investment in a ground or flight demonstration will result in significantly maturing the technology and improving the company’s ability to bring it to market.

Commercial TRN

Similarly, Astrobotic will lead a public-private partnership team that includes Moog Space and Defense, Moog Broad Reach, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) to develop a commercial TRN and visual velocimetry sensor for lunar and planetary landers.

The sensor will provide real-time vision-based navigation measurements, enabling a spacecraft to autonomously land within 100 meters of any destination on a mapped planetary surface.

This level of precision is orders of magnitude better than conventional landing systems, according to a statement by Astrobotic.

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