Ibadan, 22 May 2023. – NASA has selected Blue Origin to develop a human landing system for the agency’s Artemis V mission to the Moon. Through Artemis, NASA will explore more of the Moon than ever before, uncovering more scientific discoveries and preparing for future astronaut missions to Mars.
As a result of the selection, Blue Origin will design, develop, test, and verify its Blue Moon lander to meet NASA’s human landing system requirements for recurring astronaut expeditions to the lunar surface. This includes docking with Gateway, a space station where crew transfer in lunar orbit. In addition to design and development work, the contract includes one uncrewed demonstration mission to the lunar surface before a crewed demo on the Artemis V mission in 2029. The total award value of the firm-fixed-price contract is $3.4 billion.
“Today we are happy to announce Blue Origin will build a human landing system as NASA’s second provider to deliver Artemis astronauts to the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “We are in a golden age of human spaceflight, which is made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships. Together, we are making an investment in the infrastructure that will pave the way to land the first astronauts on Mars.”
For the Artemis V mission, NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket will launch four astronauts to lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft. Once Orion docks with Gateway, two astronauts will transfer to Blue Origin’s human landing system for about a weeklong trip to the Moon’s South Pole region, where they will conduct science and exploration activities.