June 2, 2023

The contract is a milestone for Bezos’ house firm after it misplaced a earlier bid for a moon touchdown to competitor SpaceX.

US Federal Area Company NASA has chosen Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin firm to construct a spacecraft that can ship astronauts to and from the moon’s floor, successful a contract value about $3.4 billion.

In a press launch Friday, NASA mentioned the corporate will design, take a look at and develop a “lander” below the Artemis program, the company’s lunar exploration initiative.

“At this time, we’re happy to announce that Blue Origin will construct a human touchdown system as NASA’s second provider to ship Artemis astronauts to the lunar floor,” NASA Administrator Invoice Nelson mentioned in a press release.

“We dwell in a golden age of manned spaceflight, made attainable by NASA’s business and worldwide partnerships. Collectively, we’re investing within the infrastructure that can pave the best way for the primary astronauts to land on Mars.”

The contract requires Blue Origin to supply an indication of uncrewed flight to the Moon, adopted by a crewed journey to take astronauts to the floor of the Moon, scheduled for 2029.

The announcement got here as a number of personal firms, corresponding to Elon Musk’s Area X and Bezos’ Blue Origin, sought to play a bigger position in house actions and compete for profitable authorities contracts.

In April 2021, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.89 billion contract to develop a human touchdown system that can take two astronauts to the lunar floor as a part of the Artemis program.

Blue Origin has been shedding bids on earlier contracts and Friday’s announcement was a milestone for the corporate.

Blue Origin will construct the 16-meter (52-foot) lander in collaboration with protection contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing, in addition to spacecraft software program agency Draper and robotics firm Astrobotic. These firms misplaced out to SpaceX of their 2021 bid, which Blue Origin tried unsuccessfully to overturn in court docket.

“I am honored to be a part of this journey with @NASA to land astronauts on the moon – this time to remain,” Bezos, the billionaire founding father of Amazon.com, wrote in a Twitter put up following the announcement.

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