Investing in Space

Bezos unveils Blue Origin will work on lunar lander with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman & Draper

Key Points
  • Blue Origin is leading a team to build a spacecraft to carrying humans to moon's surface and back.
  • Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, announced Tuesday that Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper would work with his company on building the lunar systems.
  • The coalition plans to bid the system for NASA's Artemis program.
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Amazon's Jeff Bezos teams up with major defense contractors for Blue Origin moon lander

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and space venture Blue Origin, unveiled plans on Tuesday for his company to work with industry giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to build a human-capable lunar landing system.

"We have put together a national team to go back to the moon," Bezos said, speaking at the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C.

The coalition plans to bid the system for NASA's Artemis program, which plans to send U.S. astronauts back to the surface of the moon. Artemis has recently been accelerated, with President Donald Trump's administration tasking NASA with landing astronauts on the surface by 2024.

Blue Origin is the group's prime contractor, leading the program's management and mission assurance. Bezos' company will also provide its lunar lander, called Blue Moon.

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Blue Origin partners with space industry giants to create lunar lander

Lockheed Martin will build the vehicle that will then return astronauts from the surface of the Moon, also known as the "Ascent Element." That Lockheed vehicle will be reusable, Blue Origin said. Lockheed will also lead operations and training of the flight's crew.

Northrop Grumman will provide a vehicle to bring the landing systems into position in lunar orbit, called the "Transfer Element" vehicle.

Draper, the Cambridge, Massachusetts research and development organization, will lead development of the descent guidance system, as well provide flight avionics.

"We could not ask for better partners," Bezos said.

Bezos earlier this year unveiled Blue Moon, as well as the rocket engine that will power the lander. .

The conference's organizers awarded Bezos with the "IAF Excellence in Industry Award," recognizing Blue Origin's space tourism division "for its significant and sustainable contribution towards enabling an enduring human presence in space through its New Shepard launch system and BE-3 liquid hydrogen rocket engine."

WATCH: Jeff Bezos unveils lunar lander to take astronauts to the moon by 2024

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Bezos unveils lunar lander