Space: Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin wins lunar exploration contract with NASA

Blue Origin, the space company of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, has won a coveted contract from NASA to build a shuttle dedicated to manned flights to the Moon, the head of the US space agency announced Friday, May 19.

The move is part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, which has already awarded SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rival space company, a $3 billion (€2.77 billion) contract in 2021 to send astronauts to the moon for the first time since the last Apollo flight. mission in 1972.

Lunar lander out of blue

The first missions using SpaceX’s Starship system are scheduled for launch at the end of the decade. The Blue Origin contract is worth about $3.4 billion, said NASA’s chief of exploration, Jim Frye, with Blue Origin privately contributing “far in excess” of that amount, according to Blue Origin’s lunar lander administrator, John Colouris.

Blue Origin didn’t give many details about its project, except that it named its partners: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Draper, which specializes in spacecraft software, and Astrobotic, which specializes in robotics.

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