NASA chooses Blue Origin to manufacture a second manned lunar lander
NASA has chosen Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin to manufacture a lunar lander for an upcoming Artemis mission to the Moon, the agency announced Friday. Under the $3.4 billion contract, there will be an uncrewed “demonstration mission” ahead of a human-crewed demonstration scheduled to take place in 2029 for the Artemis V mission, according to a press release.
Currently, the plan for the Artemis V mission is for four astronauts to first fly to the Gateway space station on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. Next, two astronauts will travel to the Moon aboard Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander for “approximately a week-long trip to the South Pole region of the Moon,” NASA said.
“Adding another human landing system partner to NASA’s Artemis program will increase competition, reduce costs to taxpayers, support a steady cadence of lunar landings, further invest in the lunar economy, and help NASA to achieve its objectives on and around the Moon in preparation for future astronaut missions to Mars,” NASA said.