Blue Origin has signed teaming agreements with multiple major defense contractors for its offering for a new Human Landing System under NASA’s Artemis program to bring U.S. astronauts back to the Moon in the next five years.
Company founder Jeff Bezos announced that Blue Origin has signed with Lockheed Martin [LMT], Northrop Grumman [NOC] and Draper Laboratory Oct. 22 at the 70th International Astronautical Congress conference in Washington, D.C. The company lauded these contractors’ decades of experience supporting NASA with human space flight systems, launch vehicles, orbital logistics, deep-space missions, interplanetary navigation and planetary landings in a press release.
The breakdown of responsibility for each company is as follows:
- Blue Origin, as prime contractor, leads program management, systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and mission engineering while providing the Descent Element that is based on the multi-year development of the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine.
- Lockheed Martin develops the reusable Ascent Element vehicle and leads crewed flight operations and training.
- Northrop Grumman provides the Transfer Element vehicle that brings the landing system down towards the Moon.
- Draper leads descent guidance and provides flight avionics.
“National challenges call for a national response. We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team that will land NASA astronauts on the Moon,” said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith in the release. “Combining our partners’ heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program.”
NASA plans to launch Artemis – named as such to reflect the goal to send the first female astronaut to the moon – in 2024. Proposals are due Nov. 1.