Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson today provided a look at coming attractions in the form of a social-media glimpse at Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander, festooned with a golden feather logo.
In a series of posts to X / Twitter and Instagram, Bezos and Nelson showed off a mockup of the nearly three-story-tall Blue Moon MK1 cargo lander, which is taking shape at Blue Origin’s production facility in Huntsville, Ala.
“MK1’s early missions will pave the way and prove technologies for our MK2 lander for @nasa’s Human Landing System,” Bezos said on Instagram. He also recapped a few technical details — noting that the MK1 is designed to deliver up to 3 tons of cargo to anywhere on the moon’s surface, and that it’ll fit in the 7-meter fairing of Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket. New Glenn is slated for its first launch next year.
In his Instagram post, Nelson said that NASA is “proud to partner with Blue Origin, especially on the Blue Moon lunar landing system, which will help ensure a steady cadence of astronauts on the moon to live and work before we venture to Mars.”
Neither Bezos nor Nelson mentioned the timetable in today’s postings, but Blue Origin has a $3.4 billion NASA contract to make its crew-capable lunar lander available for Artemis moon missions starting with Artemis 5, which is currently slated for 2029. At least one uncrewed cargo mission would be flown to the moon before then.
Eventually, Blue Origin’s lunar landers could be refueled on the moon using liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen extracted from lunar water ice.
Kent, Wash.-based Blue Origin won its contract in May, providing NASA with a second option for crewed lunar landings in addition to SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft. Starship is scheduled to handle NASA’s first two crewed lunar landings for the Artemis 3 and 4 missions. set for as early as 2025 and 2028.
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