Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin scored a $3.4 billion deal for the US area company’s Artemis V lunar lander
The US area company is pitting two spacefaring billionaires towards one another as a part of the Artemis Moon program. On Friday, NASA introduced that Blue Origin – based by Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos – will construct the second lunar lander, after Bezos tried and didn’t cease Elon Musk’s SpaceX from getting the contract for the primary.
As a part of the fixed-price $3.4 billion contract, Blue Origin will “design, develop, take a look at, and confirm its Blue Moon lander to fulfill NASA’s human touchdown system necessities for recurring astronaut expeditions to the lunar floor,” the company stated. This can contain one remotely operated demonstration mission earlier than the crewed Artemis V flight, scheduled for 2029.
“Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with completely different approaches to how they meet NASA’s mission wants, offers extra robustness and ensures a daily cadence of Moon landings,” stated Lisa Watson-Morgan, supervisor of the Human Touchdown System Program on the Marshall House Flight Heart in Huntsville, Alabama.
Watson-Morgan argued that the aggressive method “drives innovation, brings down prices, and invests in business capabilities to develop the enterprise alternatives that may serve different clients and foster a lunar economic system.”
NASA launched the Artemis Moon program in 2017. SpaceX was awarded the contract for the lunar lander in April 2021, beating Blue Origin’s $5.9 billion proposal with a $2.9 billion bid based mostly on the Starship prototype.
Blue Origin’s founder, who additionally based Amazon and owns the Washington Put up, sued NASA in an try and problem the bid. The lawsuit was dismissed in November 2021.
“I feel he ought to put extra power [into] attending to orbit than lawsuits,” Musk stated of Bezos in September 2021. “You can’t sue your solution to the Moon irrespective of how good your legal professionals are.”
NASA seems to have determined to unfold the contractor love since then. The Artemis II capsule, Orion, might be constructed by Lockheed Martin – which, together with Boeing and three different corporations, will work with Blue Origin to design and develop the ‘Blue Moon’ lander.
The area company’s second lander solicitation was issued in September 2022. The identical month, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket exploded shortly after launch. The capsule with the NS-23 mission payload was safely recovered, however the reusable booster was destroyed. The corporate has not carried out a launch since.