Bezos’ Lunar Dreams Come True with $3.4B Contract: Lands Moon Mission
Is the second time the charm for Jeff Bezos’ lunar dreams? Following a huge setback two years ago, Blue Origin, Bezos’ space company, is now on top of NASA’s moon mission project.
NASA chose Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander for its Artemis V mission. It was set for a moon South Pole landing by 2029. The price is $3.4 billion.
Bezos had dreamt of becoming the top player in human spaceflight before. However, his space company lost its chance when NASA chose Space X’s Starship HLS to have its lander return the US astronauts to the Moon.
Back then, NASA had no choice but to opt for only one contractor due to budget constraints and policy changes. It left Jezz Bezos and Blue Origin out of the project.
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 19, 2023
In a twist of events, NASA has revamped its policy, as reported by New Atlas. This policy change put Bezos’ Blue Origin back into the equation.
This reversal is vital to NASA’s plan to establish a permanent human presence on the moon. By involving multiple contractors, NASA aims to promote competition, fasten the pace of future projects, and reduce expenses.
You may also like: NASA’s Innovative Space Cup Can Hold a Drink in Zero Gravity
Bezos’s company will test, create, and validate its lander under the new agreement. Blue Origin will also administer a presentation landing on the Moon without any crew to be ready for Artemis V.
Blue Moon, 52-ft (16-m) high, is a collaborative work of Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper, Honeybee Robotics, and Astrobotic.
NASA awards Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin with contract to develop a spacecraft to land humans on the surface of the moon. pic.twitter.com/W3z9pfWMNF
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 19, 2023
The Blue Moon lander will come in three variants to provide for the needs of the lunar mission. The variants include; a reusable cargo ship for 20 tonnes, a one-way cargo that can load up to 30 tonnes, and a crewed variety that can carry up to four persons.
All the variants are designed with a 30-day life span. In addition, Blue Moon will land with the Gateway Cislunar space station on the Artemis Mission V.
But this is not the Apollo-era lunar lander. Blue Moon will use a new fueling mechanism with liquid oxygen and hydrogen. These will be kept super cool to prevent them from boiling.
You may also like: NASA’s Christina Koch to Make History as First Woman to Orbit the Moon
This advancement proves Bezos’ dedication to pushing the limits of space exploration. Human Landing System Program Manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Center, Lisa Watson-Morgan, said, “Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with different approaches to how they meet NASA’s mission needs, provides more robustness and ensures a regular cadence of Moon landings.”
This competitive way can potentially reduce costs, drive innovation, and create commercial opportunities. It can significantly contribute to a promising moon economy. For Bezos and Blue Origin, the lunar journey is about to begin.
For more updates on the latest news and interesting articles, stay tuned at Inquirer.net.