Other possibilities exist, at least for Blue Origin. The company founded by Jeff Bezos lost the original contract to design the Lunar Module for the Artemis program to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in 2021.
Blue Origin US To convince the space agency that an alternative was necessary as originally planned shook the earth. Those moves paid off, and in March 2022, an additional competition was announced that would exclude SpaceX from participating.
Blue Origin prepares to go to the Moon
This Friday it was finally announced that Blue Origin was the big winner of the new competition. The company, which was competing against Northrop Grumman and Dynetics, would receive $3.4 billion to develop the Artemis V lunar module (the Artemis III and IV modules are in SpaceX’s hands thanks to its victory in the previous competition).
“Today we are pleased to announce that Blue Origin will become NASA’s second supplier of a human landing system to deliver Artemis astronauts to the surface of the Moon,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. Of course, we must remember that the Bezos company will not be alone in this challenge, but is part of a group known as the “National Team”.
Blue Origin partners with Lockheed Martin, Draper, Boeing, Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics to develop the lunar module. We are talking about the so-called “Blue Moon”, a very important element of the space program because it will be in charge of taking the Artemis astronauts between the Orbital Gateway platform and the surface of our satellite.
For now, Artemis is making steady progress, after a slew of delays and cost overruns. Following the successful takeoff of Artemis I, we now know the names and surnames of the four astronauts who will be part of Artemis II, the program’s first manned mission, due in 2024 if all goes according to plan Needed