Jeff Bezos’ space The company Blue Origin takes the first woman to the moon’s surface, the billionaire said on Friday as Nasa approaches a decision to choose its first privately built lunar lander that can send astronauts to the moon in 2024.
“This (BE-7) is the engine that takes the first woman to the surface of the moon,” Bezos said in an Instagram post with a video of the engine test this week at the Nasa Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. .
The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for several years, has been given 1,245 seconds of test fire time and will power the company’s national team system for landing the moon.
Blue Origin leads a “national team” as the main contractor that it gathered in 2019 to help build its Blue Moon lander. That team includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper.
Blue Origin has competed for lucrative government contracts in recent years, competing with rival billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dynetics, owned by Leidos Holdings, to win a contract to build NASA’s next human lunar landing system to ferry humans to the moon over the next decade.
In April, NASA awarded a $ 579 million lunar lander development contract to the Blue Origin team and two other companies: SpaceX, which received $ 135 million to develop its Starship system, and Leidos-owned Dynetics, which won 253 dollars -million.
NASA is ready to select two of the three companies “in early March” 2021 to continue building its landing prototypes for manned missions to the moon beginning in 2024, a spokeswoman for the agency said.
But narrow funding for the landing systems provided by Nasa to the US Congress, as well as uncertainty about the future Biden administration’s view of space exploration, have threatened to delay Nasa’s decision to advance lunar landing agreements. – Reported by Joey Roulette and Rama Venkat, (c) 2020 Reuters