Blue Origin through its subsidiary Blue Source has been working on the development of the lander for three years. At this stage, the cargo version was presented, but the company claims that it is also developing a manned version
While the eyes of the space industry were focused on the Israeli spacecraft Bereshit, which was almost the first commercial spacecraft to land on the moon, there are those who take it one step further. The Blue Origin company of entrepreneur Jeff Bezos announced yesterday (Thursday) a lunar lander known as Blue Moon (Blue Moon). "Blue Moon is a flexible lander that delivers a wide variety of small, medium and large payloads to the surface of the moon. Its ability to provide precise and soft landings will enable a continued human presence on the Moon."
In recent years, Blue Origin has been transporting cargo to the space station at the same time as SPACEX, but unlike Elon Musk's SPACEX, it did not win the tender to build a spacecraft for manned launches to low orbit after losing to Boeing, but this does not prevent Bezos from thinking about a much bigger step.
The Blue Moon Lander, as it is called, is designed to be a flexible vehicle that can transport a variety of cargo on the surface of the moon and maybe one day even astronauts. The ultimate goal, the company says, is to help build a "sustained human presence" on the moon.
"It's an amazing vehicle, and it's going to go to the moon," Bezos said at an event in Washington on Thursday afternoon. Bezos says that subsidiary Blue Source has been developing Blue Moon for the past three years.
The Blue Moon lander model that Bezos has stripped is the version designed to carry infrastructure payloads to the moon. These cargoes can be small SUVs, supplies, tools, and other equipment. In the future, however, Bezos said a more powerful version of the Blue Moon could transport astronauts to the moon. According to the company's website, the intention is to participate in President Trump's plan to return the US to manned flights to the moon by 2024, however the manned spacecraft was not shown.
It was also stated on the Blue Origin website that: "Blue Moon will be able to land payloads on the moon, and even deploy payloads during the journey to the moon. Its technology is based on our experience with New Shepard and LH2 / LOX engines, capable of precise tuning and vertical landing."
“The upper deck and lower compartments will be able to accommodate and lower bays can easily accommodate a wide variety of cargo, ESPA type with standard ring port interfaces. In the lower areas it will be possible to install systems that require proximity to the moon and even removal of instruments from the spacecraft. The Blue Moon lander will provide kilowatts of power through its fuel cells, which will enable long mission durations and the ability to function throughout the lunar night. Also, Blue Moon's precision guidance system and descent sensors use machine learning technology to precisely land anywhere on the lunar surface, starting with its first mission.