NASA announced on Friday that a team led by Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin has won a coveted NASA contract to develop a spacecraft to transport astronauts to and from the moon’s surface.
NASA’s decision would provide the government with a second trip to the moon as part of its Artemis programme, after it awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX $3 billion in 2021 to put astronauts on the moon for the first time since the final Apollo mission in 1972.
The first launches utilising SpaceX’s Starship technology are scheduled for later this decade.
Blue Origin’s contract is worth approximately $3.4 billion, according to NASA’s exploration chief Jim Free, with Blue Origin privately contributing “well north” of that amount, according to Blue Origin’s lunar lander leader John Couluris stated.
Blue Origin has disclosed little about its next lunar landing proposal other than mentioning its corporate partners, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper Spacecraft Software, and Astrobotic Robotics.