Blue Origin, American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company founded by Jeff Bezos
will take the first woman to the moon’s surface.
Jeff Bezos, the richest person on earth on Friday in an Instagram post announced as NASA nears a decision to pick its first privately built lunar landers capable of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024.
“This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon,” Bezos’ Instagram video post read.
The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for years, has tallied 1,245 seconds of test-fire time and will power the company’s National Team Human Landing System lunar lander.
Blue Origin leads a “national team” as the prime contractor that it assembled in 2019 to help build its Blue Moon lander. That team includes Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper.
Bezos’ Blue Origin is a rival to billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dynetics, owned by Leidos Holdings Inc.
In April, NASA awarded a lunar lander development contract to Blue Origin’s team worth USD $579 million, as well as to: SpaceX which received USD$ 135 million to help develop its Starship system and Leidos-owned Dynetics which won USD$ 253 million.
NASA is poised to pick two of the three companies “in early March” 2021 to continue building their lander prototypes for crewed missions to the moon beginning in 2024, an agency spokeswoman has said.