Blue Origin has unveiled Blue Moon, a lunar lander project for the delivery of a wide variety of payloads. This new vehicle, whose commissioning is expected by 2024, could be used by NASA for the return of astronauts to the moon.
Jeff Bezos, boss of Amazon and Blue Origin, presented last night his project Moon Lander Blue Moon. This program started three years ago and Blue Origin had already communicated it. Futura expected Jeff Bezos to announce the start of a vehicle capable of transporting humans to the moon, but this will not be the case, at least not immediately.
With a mass-load of about three tons (15 tonnes with full of propellant), Blue Moon is an autonomous vehicle capable of carrying 3.6 tons to 6.5 tons of cargo, according to the version of the vehicle, on behalf of NASA and other clients. It will perform precision landings and will be able to carry a wide variety of useful payloads: equipment for astronauts, scientific instruments, robotic rovers, and even a buggy for astronauts. Another particularity during his flight between the Earth and the moon, it will be able to launch satellites of small sizes. In its largest version, it will also be able to transport modules and habitable structures in anticipation of the installation of a base.
Will Blue Moon be at the side of NASA to send humans to the moon?
Regarding manned flights to the moon, Bezos has approved the goal of the government of Donald Trump to return humans to the moon by 2024. He also said that he would be ready for this mission, suggesting that he could participate on the side of NASA. Blue Moon, which will not be able to carry astronauts, will be used to transport the ascension vehicle that the astronauts will use to join the Orion vehicle in lunar orbit or docked at LOP-G (the future moon station in orbit).
You should know that Orion is not designed to land and take off from the moon. NASA will, therefore, need a vehicle similar to the Apollo Missions Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), which will be provided by a private company. If Blue Moon is selected for this task, NASA will need another vehicle to bring down Orion astronauts or LOP-G on the lunar surface.