Jeff Bezos Reveals Blue Origin’s Lunar Lander ‘Blue Moon’

Jeff Bezos

Mr Bezos also unveiled a new rocket engine on Thursday, called BE-7, which is powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and has 4,535 kilograms of thrust. (It's beginning engine tests this year.) Given the huge delays and cost overruns of NASA's official moon-mission rocket, the Boeing-lead Space Launch System, the US government may welcome a deus ex machina from startups like Blue Origin, especailly given the Trump Aministiration's wildly ambitous goal to return humans to the Moon by 2024.

"We were given a gift - this nearby body called the moon", Bezos said. According to Bezos, the Blue Origin team has been working on the design for three years.

Blue Origin unveiled its "Blue Moon" lander, which has been in development for three years and could help NASA return humans to the lunar surface by 2024.

"My generation's job is to build the infrastructure", said Bezos.

Blue Origin is based in Kent, Wash., and has built out a 750,000-square-foot plant for its New Glenn rocket just outside Kennedy Space Center.

The unmanned, reusable Blue Moon vehicle will carry scientific instruments, satellites and rovers.

During his presentation, which sounded at times more like a professorial lecture than a business plan, Bezos did not address a specific launch schedule for the lander or a specific mission for it.

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Researchers confirmed previous year that the moon's surface has water in the form of ice.

According to Blue Origin, the lander's top deck and lower bays are being created to accommodate a wide variety of payloads.

"One of the most important things we know about the moon today is that there's water there", he said.

The goal is to land on the Moon's south pole, where ice deposits were confirmed in 2018.

Speculation about a lunar mission was stoked by Blue Origin last month when the company tweeted a photo of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance on an expedition to Antarctica.

The aim is for Blue Moon to land on the south pole of the Moon, where ice deposits have been found in craters.

His vision is shared by competing billionaire-backed private space ventures like Elon Musk's SpaceX and aerospace incumbents like United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin.

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