Blue Origin plans to launch the first lunar lander in 2025

Blue Origin plans to launch the first lunar lander in 2025

Blue Origin plans to launch the first version of its Blue Moon lunar module in 2025, a precursor to future manned lunar landers being developed for NASA.

John Couluris, senior vice president of lunar permanence at Blue Origin, stated in an interview that the company intends to launch the first “Mark 1” version of its Blue Moon lander in as little as a year during a March 3 broadcast on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”

“This lander is going to land on the moon in 12 to 16 months from today,” he said, pointing to a full-scale model of the lander behind him. “That’s our team’s goal.”

A cargo vehicle that serves as a demonstration of new technologies is the Mark 1 Lander. When Blue Origin unveiled the mockup in October, it announced that it intended to send its first Mark 1 lander, known as MK1-SN001, on a “Pathfinder Mission” to test important technologies including its BE-7 engine.

“The MK1-SN001 will test critical systems such as the BE-7 engine, cryogenic fluid propulsion and propulsion systems, avionics, continuous downlink communications, and precision landing,” the company said at the time, but its release date was not disclosed. Mission.

The company is planning at least two flights of the Blue Moon Mark 1 lander, as it is developing a Mark 2 lander intended for passenger transport. Blue Origin won a $3.4 billion contract from NASA in May 2023 to develop the lander as part of the Human Landing System HLS. Program deployed to the Artemis 5 mission towards the end of the decade. The mission will be preceded by an unmanned demonstration of the Mark 2 lander.

During a panel discussion at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference on February 21, Jacqueline Cortese, senior director of civil space at Blue Origin, stated, “We are self-funding two missions of our smaller lander, Blue Moon Mark 1.” “Those are really important precursors for us for our HLS missions,” testing the engine, landing sensors and other technologies.”

She stated at the time that the development of both of those Mark 1 missions was “going great” and that all necessary procurements had been made, but she did not provide a timeline for either mission. “You’ll see those missions coming up here maybe a lot faster than people realize.”

A Blue Moon requires a launch with New Glenn, a rocket developed by Blue Origin. After several years of delays, the rocket’s first flight is scheduled for later this year. The company has not announced a launch date, but the payload is likely to be NASA’s Mars small satellite mission ESCAPADE, whose launch was announced in August.

Blue Origin brought its Pathfinder vehicle version of New Glenn to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, on February 21, where it conducted three refueling tests. This Pathfinder vehicle had a mix of flight hardware and models, but did not have the seven BE-4 engines required for the first stage.

On March 5, the company announced that it had completed tank testing and returned the vehicle to its integrated facility. No update was provided on the vehicle’s initial release date.

Topics #Blue Moon lander #Blue Origin #first lunar lander #NASA

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