Image credit: Blue Origin

 

NASA has given Blue Origin’s Blue Moon program team a $3.4 billion go-ahead as the second company to build a lunar lander for the space agency that will transport Artemis 5 astronauts to the surface of the Moon.

Blue Origin is putting in their own cash, well north of NASA’s contract award dollar number.

Blue Origin’s National Team partners include Lockheed Martin, Draper, Boeing, Astrobotic, and Honeybee Robotics.

“Honored to be on this journey with NASA to land astronauts on the Moon — this time to stay,” said Blue Origin’s leader, entrepreneur Jeff Bezos. “Together, we’ll be solving the boil-off problem and making LOX-LH2 [liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen] a storable propellant combination, pushing forward the state of the art for all deep space missions,” he announced in a Twitter posting.

Lockheed Martin is building the Cislunar Transporter, the refueler of the lander.

“Congratulation to Blue Origin on this achievement. Lockheed Martin is excited to be part of the Blue Origin’s National team and we are looking forward to building humanity’s first Cislunar Transporter,” said Kirk Shireman, vice president of Lunar Exploration Campaigns at Lockheed Martin Space, in a company statement.

SpaceX Starship

SpaceX Lunar Starship off loads crew and cargo onto the Moon’s surface.
Image credit: SpaceX

This new contract decision follows NASA’s pick in 2021 of the SpaceX Starship vehicle to “re-boot” the Moon since the last Apollo manned lunar landing in December 1972.

Under NASA’s Artemis program, the powerful Space Launch System booster is to hurl astronauts toward the Moon aboard the Lockheed Martin-built Orion capsule, then rendezvous and dock with a lunar lander that transports crew to a select site on the lunar surface.

NASA chief, Bill Nelson, announces Blue Origin’s selection.
Image credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

 

 

The space agency is already working with SpaceX to develop lander capability for the Artemis III and Artemis IV missions.

 

 

 

Go to NASA’s statement on today’s decision at:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-blue-origin-as-second-artemis-lunar-lander-provider

Go to Blue Origin’s statement at:

https://www.blueorigin.com/news/nasa-selects-blue-origin-for-mission-to-moon/

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