Home Technology Jeff Bezos exhibits off new Moon lander design for NASA

Jeff Bezos exhibits off new Moon lander design for NASA

Jeff Bezos exhibits off new Moon lander design for NASA


Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin's founder, meets NASA Administrator Bill Nelson with a mock-up of the Blue Moon Mark 1 lander behind them.
Enlarge / Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin’s founder, meets NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson with a mock-up of the Blue Moon Mark 1 lander behind them.

Blue Origin has unveiled a mock-up of the Blue Moon lander it says might be able to fly to the Moon throughout the subsequent three years as a precursor to human landings on a bigger car, maybe on the finish of the last decade.

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founding father of Blue Origin, lately confirmed off the “low-fidelity” mock-up to NASA officers on the firm’s engine manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama. The car is undoubtedly massive and can benefit from the 23-foot-wide (7-meter) payload quantity on Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket.

That is the Mark 1 variant of the Blue Moon lander. It is designed to ship as much as 3 metric tons (about 6,600 kilos) of cargo wherever on the lunar floor. Blue Origin revealed the design on Friday.

“Blue Moon Mark 1 is a single-launch, lunar cargo lander that continues to be on the floor and offers secure, dependable, and reasonably priced entry to the lunar atmosphere,” Blue Origin wrote on its web site. The corporate is growing the Mark 1 as a predecessor to the bigger Mark 2 lander, which is able to ferry astronauts to and from the lunar floor below contract to NASA, which chosen Blue Origin as its second human-rated lunar lander contractor in Might, alongside SpaceX.

“We’re constructing our landers, each our Mark 1 and our Mark 2, to allow world touchdown functionality on the Moon, day or evening,” mentioned John Couluris, senior vice chairman of lunar transportation at Blue Origin.

Schedule uncertainty

NASA’s first touchdown goal for Artemis is the lunar south pole, the place scientists have found proof for giant deposits of water ice within the bottoms of darkish craters. There’s numerous work to do earlier than that occurs.

With its $3.4 billion fixed-price Human Touchdown System (HLS) contract with NASA, Blue Origin might be accountable for transporting astronauts between lunar orbit and the floor of the Moon, then again into house, on the Artemis V mission. This mission is formally scheduled for no before 2029, however is prone to slip into the 2030s.

NASA has contracted with SpaceX for 2 crew lunar landings with its large Starship car on the Artemis III and Artemis IV missions, formally slated for late 2025 and 2028. These missions are additionally prone to be delayed, with schedule pressures starting from the readiness of the Starship lander and spacesuits to the development of a brand new cellular launch platform and an enlarged higher stage for NASA’s Area Launch System rocket.

SpaceX’s precedence, for now, is to get the Starship rocket into orbit, after which the corporate wants to check refueling know-how in house, a functionality that may require quite a few profitable Starship launches. Then SpaceX plans to fly an unpiloted demonstration mission to land Starship on the Moon, forward of the primary crew flight.

It isn’t simply SpaceX’s readiness that issues NASA in regards to the schedule for Artemis III.

“Now we have a complete bunch of parts which have to come back collectively for (Artemis) III,” mentioned Jim Free, the senior NASA supervisor who oversees the Artemis program. “We’ve received a complete new Orion that is going to have a docking system on it … We must always by no means relaxation on our laurels on SLS. That is received to come back collectively as a result of we construct a complete new car each time.

“We’d like fits to come back collectively, and because the fits are very a lot of their early technical section of design and growth, no one ought to relaxation straightforward,” Free mentioned.

“Each single contractor has received to carry out on each mission, and so they need to do it to the next stage than they ever have as a result of now we’re flying people,” he mentioned.



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