Blue Origin, the space company owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced a partnership with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gruman, and Draper to return Americans to the moon by 2024.
The announcement, made during the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington D.C. , marks a further step in Bezos's space aspirations. The companies are bidding on NASA’s Artemis program that's aiming to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024.
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NASA Wants Americans back on the moon by 2024
NASA is collaborating with commercial partners to establish sustainable exploration of the moon by 2028. The Blue Origin team is building lunar landers which are landing systems the astronauts will use to land on the surface of the moon.
The Bezos owned company made the announcement during a speech at the International Astronautical Congress conference which was also broadcast over the Internet.
Blue Origin said its team brings decades of experience working with NASA to create human space flight systems, launch vehicles, orbital logistics, deep-space missions, interplanetary navigation, and planetary landings.
Blue Origin to be the lead contractor
Blue Origin will be the lead in program management, systems engineering, and safety while Lockheed Martin will develop the reusable ascent element vehicle and lead crewed flight operations and training. North Grumman will provide the transfer element vehicles that bring the landing system down to Mars while Draper will lead the descent guidance and provide flight avionics for the team.
“National challenges call for a national response. We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team that will land NASA astronauts on the Moon,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin in the press release. “Combining our partners’ heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program.”