Saturday, June 22, 2024

Blue Origin Secures Contract To Help NASA Return to Moon

The US space agency has enlisted a second billionaire to help it put astronauts back on the Moon.

NASA is already working with Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm on a descent system based on its novel Starship rocket that will touch down as early as 2025.

It has now also awarded Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos a contract to build a landing craft to take a crew down to the lunar surface later this decade.

His Blue Origin company will produce a more conventional-looking vehicle.

Mr Bezos will have assistance from some well established names in the American aerospace sector, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper and Astrobotic.

Blue Origin secured the contract in a competition with Dynetics and Northrop Grumman.

Mr Bezos’s company, which is based in Kent in the US State of Washington, will receive just over $3.4bn (£2.7bn) from Nasa as part of the contract. And the firm will be spending “well north of $3.4bn” of its own money on the project.

“We go to the Moon, to learn, to live, to invent, to create all these things to be successful at the Moon, to go to Mars,” said agency Administrator Bill Nelson.

“The great adventure of humankind pressing out into the cosmos is here. And this is a part of it.”

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