NASA will rely on Blue Origin, Jeff Besos’ company, to create the lunar module that will carry the Artemis crew to the Moon.
Private space travel companies have been on everyone’s lips these weeks, from Space X due to the explosion of its last launch, as well as Blue Origin, due to the news from NASA.
It is clear that Jeff does not want to be left behind in this space race, and achieved the task of being a NASA contractor, something he has been trying to do for years, which has not been easy because a few years ago he lost the battle with Space X, which managed to get the first lander contract, something that led to a legal battle, even with all this, Blue Origin managed to get the second module that will land with the astronauts from Artemis V.
The Besos module is christened Blue Moon, and is expected to land on the moon starting in 2029, in the same way that Space X has attempted to do, Blue Origin will have to demonstrate that its lander is safe enough, as well as make several unmanned test landings.
The contract is worth $3400 million, but Vice President John Couluris said Blue Origin itself could contribute even more than that amount. The reason for this amount is due to the following characteristics.
The lunar lander will be 16 meters high and will weigh about 45 tons with fuel and everything, the module will also be supported by several multinationals such as Boeing, Draper, Astrobotic, Honeybee Robotics and Lockheed Martin. The latter will develop a shuttle capable of refueling in lunar orbit, this shuttle must be able to send astronauts to the lunar surface, as well as receive them on their return.
They are expected to launch the shuttle and Lunar Module with their New Glenn rocket, the problem is that the rocket has never flown, which represents a problem for NASA and Blue Origin itself.
But before all this happens, the first missions will be in the already famous Orion capsule, which will reach orbit in the SLS, its effectiveness has already been tested in the Artemis I, it is expected that this year will be tested with a crew, and in Artemis 3 humanity will return to the Moon.
Once the four lunar landers return to the Orion, they will dock at the Gateway space station and board either Space X’s (Artemis 4) or Blue Origin’s (Artemis 5) lunar landing module.
In this way, mankind will return to the Moon exploring the south pole, since ice has been detected in that area, where the lunar base will be formed and all the technologies necessary to leave for Mars will be tested.
The race is on, but it’s not over yet, and ultimately Blue Origin still has a long way to go, the question is, will it be able to catch up with Space X and NASA’s SLS?
It is an answer that will be given in time, the only sure thing is that humanity wants to take its baby steps in space colonization, which will open the doors of a galactic society.