NASA has decided that Blue Origin may build the Artemis V lunar lander. That rocket must make a manned flight in 2029. This contract is worth an amount of EUR 3.14 billion.
For the manned mission, a ‘demonstration mission’ without crew must first take place in the same year, let NASA know. The plan is for four astronauts to fly to the moon in an Orion capsule, and for two of them to use a Blue Origin lander attached to the Gateway space station to spend a week exploring the southern portion of the moon. explore.
The previous two landings, Artemis III and IV, must take place in a SpaceX Starship. The former mission is scheduled for 2025. SpaceX won the contract in 2021 to build a lunar lander for the Artemis missions. Blue Origin then also announced that it was interested, but ended up in second place. Initially, the intention was that the two runners-ups could also build a lunar lander, but for financial reasons it was later decided to stick to one lunar lander for the entire Artemis project, which SpaceX was allowed to make. Blue Origin then sued NASA, but to no avail.
In 2022, however, NASA announced that a second lunar lander was going to be built, so that Blue Origin could compete again, and has now been chosen. According to NASA, a second partner ensures “more competition, lower costs for taxpayers, more regular moon landings and more investment in the lunar economy.”
Concept of the Blue Origin lunar lander. Source: Blue Origin