Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin will take the first woman to the lunar surface, the billionaire said Friday, adding that NASA’s decision to select the first private lunar landers capable of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024 is imminent.
“This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the lunar surface,” Bezos said in a post on Instagram this week with a video of the engine test at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntville, Alabama. .
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The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for years, has a test-fire time of 1,245 seconds and will power the company’s national team human landing system Lunar Lander.
Blue Origin leads the “national team” as the main contractor assembled in 2019 to help build its Blue Moon lander. That team includes Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper.
Blue Origin has been preparing for a for-profit government deal in recent years and is competing with rival billionaire Elon Musk, owned by Lidos Holdings Inc., to launch NASA’s next manned lunar landing system on the next moon. Decades.
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In April, NASA awarded the Blue Origin team a lunar lander development contract worth 9 9,579 million, as well as two other companies: SpaceX to develop its starship system and win ID 253 million to Dynamics owned by Lidos to 13 135 million.
An agency spokesman said NASA is preparing to select two of the three companies in 2021 “early March” to continue building their lander prototypes for crew missions to the moon in 2024, an agency spokesman said.
But thin funding for the landing system made available to NASA by Congress, as well as uncertainty over the Biden administration’s forthcoming views on space exploration, have threatened to delay NASA’s decision to proceed with the lunar lander deal.
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