Who did they select this time? Blue Origin. They will build NASA’s new lunar lander. The first one was built by Space X. The application is being made under the Artemis Program.
Blue Origin will design, develop, test and verify their Blue Moon lander. They expect to meet NASA’s human landing system requirements. Recurring astronaut expeditions to the lunar surface are planned, including docking with Gateway. It will be a space station where the crew is transferred into lunar orbit.
To the South Pole
The contract includes an unmanned demonstration mission to the lunar surface. The total award value of the firm-fixed-price contract is $3.4 billion.
For the Artemis V mission, a rocket will launch four astronauts into lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft. It will dock with Gateway. And two astronauts will transfer to Blue Origin’s human landing system for a week-long journey. Where will they go? To the Moon’s South Pole region, where they will conduct science and exploration activities.
As reported by NASA, a new human landing system partner to the Artemis program will increase competition. It will also reduce costs to taxpayers by supporting a regular cadence of lunar landings. NASA’s new lunar lander will help it meet its objectives on the Moon.
The agency earlier contracted with SpaceX to demonstrate an initial human landing system for the Artemis III mission. Under that contract, the agency also directed SpaceX to evolve its design. It must meet the agency’s requirements for sustainable exploration.
“We want to have two different lunar landing designs. With different approaches on how to meet NASA’s mission needs. It will give us more robustness and ensure a regular cadence of Moon landings.” So said Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager of NASA’s Human Landing System Program.