NASA Selects Blue Origin for Lunar Lander in Artemis Mission

NASA has chosen Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin for making a lunar lander for an upcoming Artemis mission.

The contract is valued at $3.4 billion and includes an uncrewed "demonstration mission" followed by a human-crewed demo.

The human-crewed demo is scheduled for the Artemis V mission in 2029.

The plan for Artemis V involves four astronauts flying to the Gateway space station using NASA's Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft.

Two of the astronauts will then travel to the Moon's South Pole region using Blue Origin's Blue Moon lander for a weeklong trip.

The addition of Blue Origin as a partner aims to increase competition, reduce costs, support regular lunar landings, and invest in the lunar economy.

Blue Origin is the second company, after SpaceX, to secure a lunar lander contract for Artemis.

SpaceX won the sole contract in 2021, and Blue Origin lost a lawsuit against NASA regarding that decision.

However, NASA announced in 2022 its intention to develop a second human lunar lander and invited proposals from space companies.

SpaceX is currently working on its Starship spacecraft for the Artemis mission contract, although it faced a setback with a test flight resulting in a fire.