Blue Origin Blue Moon

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Blue Origin Blue Moon
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerBlue Origin
Payload mass4,500 kg (9,900 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date2024 (proposed)[2]
RocketSpace Launch System, Atlas V, New Glenn, or Vulcan
Moon lander
Landing siteLunar south pole

The Blue Origin Blue Moon is a proposed robotic space cargo carrier and lander for making cargo deliveries to the Moon. Designed and operated by Blue Origin for use on the Blue Moon mission aimed for 2024,[2][3][4] Blue Moon derives from the vertical landing technology used in Blue Origin's New Shepard sub-orbital rocket.[5]

The lander is planned to be capable of delivering 4,500 kg (9,900 lb) to the surface of the Moon.[1] The cargo vehicle could also be used to support NASA activities in cis-lunar space,[6] or transport payloads of ice from Shackleton Crater to support space activities.[7] The first projected mission for the craft would be a 2024 lunar south pole landing.[2] It is proposed that a series of landings could be used to deliver the infrastructure for a Moon base.[3][4][8]

History[edit]

Design began on the lander in the 2010s. The lander platform was first publicly revealed in March 2017,[1][9] with a lunar-surface-delivered payload capacity of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg)[1] at which time the first lunar landing mission was projected for 2020.[1] [3]

Blue Origin's president Rob Myerson said that the proposed lander could be optimized to use NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, but could also be launched with Blue Origin's New Glenn and ULA's Atlas V[6][1] and next-generation Vulcan launch vehicle.

In a May 2018 interview, Blue Origin's CEO Jeff Bezos indicated that Blue Origin would build Blue Moon on its own, with private funding, but that they would build it a lot faster if it were done in a partnership with existing government space agencies. Bezos mentioned the December 2017 directive of the Trump Administration to steer NASA to include a lunar mission on the pathway to other beyond Earth orbit (BEO) destinations, and also his support for the Moon Village concept, "a proposal promoted by European Space Agency head Jan Woerner for cooperation among countries and companies to cooperate ... on lunar capabilities."[10]

Description[edit]

A BE-3U LOX/Hydrogen rocket engine will be used to place the lander on a trans-lunar injection trajectory and to begin to decelerate the vehicle for its lunar surface landing. The lander will "land tail-down" using 49 kilonewtons (11,000 lbf) liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen thrusters that were under development before April 2017.[1][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Frank Morring, Jr. (3 March 2017). "Blue Origin Developing 10,000-lb. Lunar Polar Lander". Aviation Week and Space Technology.
  2. ^ a b c 'Moon Race' Backed by Blue Origin, Airbus Aims for 2024 Lunar Flight. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com. October 3, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Monica Hunter-Hart (7 April 2017). "Blue Origin is Still Going to the Moon, Even if Mars is Hip". inVerse.
  4. ^ a b Christian Davenport (2 March 2017). "An exclusive look at Jeff Bezos's plan to set up Amazon-like delivery for 'future human settlement' of the moon". Washington Post.
  5. ^ Rich Smith (6 March 2017). "Blue Origin Boss Jeff Bezos Lays Out His Plan for Space". The Motley Fool.
  6. ^ a b c Phillip Swarts (6 April 2017). "Blue Origin ready to support NASA lunar missions with Blue Moon". SpaceNews.
  7. ^ Bart Leahy (12 April 2017). "Blue Origin Looking to Make a 'Blue Moon'". Spaceflight Insider.
  8. ^ Alan Boyle (20 May 2017). "Jeff Bezos lays out his vision for city on the moon, complete with robots". GeekWire.
  9. ^ Jay Bennett (6 March 2017). "Blue Origin Teases Cargo Spaceship for a Moon Base". Popular Mechanics.
  10. ^ Foust, Jeff (29 May 2018). "Bezos outlines vision of Blue Origin's lunar future". SpaceNews. Retrieved 21 August 2018.