Response to SpaceX: Blue Origin demonstrated a prototype of lunar lander

Blue Origin published images of a full-size mockup of the Blue Moon spacecraft. It is designed to deliver cargo to the moon and develop technologies that will then be used to create a manned version of the lander, which will be able to compete with SpaceX’s Starship HLS.

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on the background of the Blue Moon mockup. Source: Blue Origin

The spacecraft being developed by Blue Origin was designated Blue Moon Mark 1. It will be involved in the MK1-SN001 mission. Within its framework, key nodes and components of the vehicle will be checked, including the BE-7 engine, cryogenic power system, avionics, communications and the accuracy of the landing system. 

Subsequent Mark 1 series vehicles, starting with the MK-SN002 mission, will be used to deliver payloads to the Moon — both from NASA under the CLPS program and from various commercial customers. According to the statement from Blue Origin, the unmanned Blue Moon will be able to deliver three tons of cargo to the lunar surface, landing within 100 meters of a given point. A terrain navigation system using lidar, which has already been tested during suborbital flights of the New Shepard spacecraft, will be used for this purpose. Blue Origin strives to achieve landing accuracy measured by single numbers.

Blue Moon mockup. Source: Blue Origin

So far, Blue Origin has not named any specific dates for the Blue Moon flight. It is stated that they will go to the Moon during the first launches of the New Glenn rocket. At the moment, its commissioning is scheduled for 2024. However, it is worth recalling that the first flight of the new rocket has already been postponed several times. So it cannot be ruled out that this will happen again.

As for the manned version of Blue Moon (Mark 2 series), it is planned to use it during the Artemis V mission. At the moment, its implementation is planned for the end of the current decade.

According to

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time