Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin will bring the first woman to the surface of the moon, the American billionaire announced on Friday. NASA (United States Space Agency) is nearing a decision on the choice of the first privately built spacecraft for lunar landings that will bring astronauts to the satellite from 2024.
“This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the moon,” Bezos said in an Instagram post with a video of the machine test conducted this week at NASA’s Huntsville, Alabama flight center .
The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for years, is already extending the fire test time by 1,245 seconds and will take over the company’s lunar landing system, the National Team Human Landing System.
Blue Origin heads the “national team” it founded in 2019 to build its Blue Moon rocket. They are also part of the Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. consortium. and draper.
Blue Origin has been competing for lucrative government contracts in recent years, competing with rival billionaire Elon Musk and his SpaceX, as well as Dynetics from Leidos Holdings Inc. for the contract to build the next manned lunar landing system for astronauts over the next decade.
In April, NASA gave the Blue Origin team and two other companies a $ 579 million development contract for a lunar lander, plus SpaceX, which received $ 135 million to develop the Starship system, and Dynetics, which received $ 253 million -Dollars received.
NASA is expected to select two of the three companies “in early March” in 2021 to continue building prototype landers for manned missions to the moon from 2024, an agency spokeswoman said.
However, the tight funding for landing systems provided by the U.S. Congress to NASA, as well as uncertainty about what President-elect Joe Biden’s administration thinks of space exploration threatens to delay the agency’s decision to fund contracts.