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HomeNewsTechnologyJeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Might Race SpaceX to the Moon

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Might Race SpaceX to the Moon


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Which billionaire area firm will get to the moon first: Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin?

At first look, SpaceX appears to have an enormous head begin. It’s about to launch the third check flight of Starship. A variation of Starship is scheduled to take NASA astronauts to the floor of the moon as quickly as September 2026.

In contrast, Blue Origin has but to launch something into orbit, and its contract with NASA for a lunar lander for astronauts is for a mission that’s launching in 2030.

However Blue Origin would possibly nonetheless get there first. SpaceX faces main challenges with Starship, which is as tall as 16-story constructing, whereas Blue Origin plans to ship a smaller cargo lander to the moon by the tip of subsequent yr.

“This lander, we’re anticipating to land on the moon between 12 and 16 months from at this time,” John Couluris, senior vp of lunar permanence at Blue Origin, mentioned throughout an interview on the CBS Information program “60 Minutes” this month.

The primary launch of the Mark 1 model of the Blue Moon lander is what Blue Origin calls a “pathfinder” to check applied sciences just like the BE-7 engine, the flight computer systems, avionics and energy methods — the identical methods that might be used within the a lot bigger Mark 2 lander that may take astronauts to the moon’s floor.

The Mark 1 lander can carry as much as three tons of cargo to the lunar floor, however might be sufficiently small to suit inside one in all Blue Origin’s New Glenn rockets. New Glenn has but to fly, however the firm says its debut journey will happen later this yr.

After Blue Moon Mark 1 is launched into an orbit about 125 miles above Earth’s floor, the lander’s BE-7 engine will propel it towards the moon, slowing it all the way down to enter orbit across the moon after which guiding it to the touchdown on the floor.

The smaller measurement signifies that the Mark 1 lander, in contrast to Starship, won’t should be refueled earlier than leaving Earth orbit. Demonstrating that refueling know-how in orbit might be a key check to validate Starship’s design. Refueling will even be wanted for the Blue Moon Mark 2 lander.

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