While SpaceX is building the lunar lander for the Artemis III mission, Blue Origin is back in the game building the next lunar lander for a follow-up human landing at the Moon’s southern polar region as part of Artemis V. The NASA contract with Blue Origin for this second mission is $3.4 billion.
Blue Origin’s partners in this venture include Lockheed Martin, Draper, Boeing, Astrobotic, and Honeybee Robotics. All of this is good news for the space program in that its expands the knowledge and risk related to a lunar landing among even more companies. Such redundancy will increase resilience.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson welcomed Blue Origin to the team with this statement:
Today we are excited to announce Blue Origin will build a human landing system as NASA’s second provider to deliver Artemis astronauts to the lunar surface…We are in a golden age of human spaceflight, which is made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships. Together, we are making an investment in the infrastructure that will pave the way to land the first astronauts on Mars.
Note: I am glad to hear that Mr. Bezos is still plugging away with his space company Blue Origin and not spending all of his money on play things, such as his $500 million yacht. The commercial space industry is party one run by billionaire playboys, which may not be the most stable foundation. Yet all the same, if part of their money is going to public projects, that is a good thing. Just as Andrew Carnegie invested in public libraries and Bill Gates fighting disease and poverty in Africa, we can all benefit from the money going into the space arena. Mind you, it is not charity, but it is starter funds for critical projects to keep the US in the space race.