Blue Origin Will Provide Artemis V’s Lunar Lander

NASA recently announced the decision

Artemis V
A rendering of Artemis V on the lunar surface
Blue Origin

The specifics of NASA’s planned return to the moon continue to take shape, and the latest one to be clarified involves Artemis V — which, to be fair, is still several years from heading into space. As reported by Engadget, NASA opted for a Blue Origin landing module for the mission. Chalk one up for Jeff Bezos in the “space companies owned by billionaires” competition, evidently.

As per NASA’s announcement, the $3.4 billion contract will include an uncrewed mission to the surface of the moon as well as one crewed demo. The Artemis V mission is currently scheduled to take place in 2029. For its part, NASA sees working with multiple spaceflight companies as a feature rather than a bug. “Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with different approaches to how they meet NASA’s mission needs, provides more robustness and ensures a regular cadence of moon landings,” said manager of Human Landing System Program Lisa Watson-Morgan.

Blue Origin Successfully Test Launches Passenger Spaceship
Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company marks a major milestone.

“We are in a golden age of human spaceflight, which is made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “Together, we are making an investment in the infrastructure that will pave the way to land the first astronauts on Mars.”

Artemis II, anticipated to be the first crewed mission in the Artemis program, is set to take place next year. That mission’s European Service Module recently completed a number of important tests required prior to launch.

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