Jeff Bezos announces a team of US companies for NASA's Moon program. [credit: Trevor Mahlmann ]
On Tuesday, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos announced that his company has a plan for NASA to return to the Moon by 2024. The company has assembled a proven team of US companies to design and build elements of a lunar landing system that will take humans from a high lunar orbit down to the Moon's surface.
"This is a national team for a national priority," said Bezos, announcing a partnership with three other companies—Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper—to support NASA's Artemis Program.
Blue Origin will serve as the prime contractor, building the Blue Moon lunar lander as the "descent element" of the system to carry the mission down to the lunar surface. Bezos' company will also lead program management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin will develop a reusable "ascent element" and lead crewed flight operations. Northrop Grumman will build the "transfer element," and Draper will lead descent guidance and provide flight avionics.