Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos is allowed to build lunar lander for NASA

Space company Blue Origin of ex-Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is allowed by NASA to build a lunar lander. That decision follows previous orders from NASA for a lunar lander to Elon Musk’s competitor SpaceX.

With the order from NASA is about $3.4 billion. The Blue Moon lander must first successfully complete an unmanned test flight to the moon. Subsequently, the Blue Moon may be around 2029 during the manned lunar mission Artemis 5 taking astronauts to the moon.

In that mission, two astronauts from a space station orbiting the moon transfer to the Blue Moon and descend to the south pole of the moon. There they do scientific experiments for a week, after which they return to earth with the space station. The goal, according to Blue Origin, is to “be able to make a precision landing anywhere on the lunar surface.”

“It’s a golden age of human spaceflight, made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships,” said NASA CEO Bill Nelson. “Together we are investing in the infrastructure that paves the way for the first astronauts to land on Mars.”

Battle with SpaceX

Blue Origin’s major competitor, Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, is building the lunar lander for NASA’s first two manned missions to the moon, which are scheduled for late 2025 and 2028. Bezos’ company has previously lost lawsuits over NASA’s choice of SpaceX.

At the end of last year, with the Artemis 1 mission performed an unmanned test flight. Artemis 2, scheduled for November 2024, will require four people to fly around the moon.

Space tourism

Until now, Blue Origin was mainly known for its touristic space flights to the edge of the atmosphere. On the first of those flights, in July 2021, Bezos himself went along, just like an 18-year-old Dutchman.

The company is also working on its own space station, where tourists can stay in the future.

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