WASHINGTON — Blue Origin is joining forces with three other major aerospace firms in a “national team” to develop a human lunar lander for NASA.
The company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, announced Oct. 22 his intent to work with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper on the unnamed lunar lander, the proposal for which they will submit to NASA for its Human Landing Services competition.
“I am excited to announce that we have put together a national team to go back to the moon,” he said during an onstage interview at the 70th International Astronautical Congress here, where he received an Excellence in Industry award. “We could not ask for better partners.”
Under the teaming arrangement, Blue Origin will serve as the prime contractor and provide a descent stage developed for its Blue Moon lunar lander unveiled earlier this year. Lockheed Martin will build a crew-rated ascent stage, leveraging systems it developed for the Orion spacecraft. Northrop Grumman will build a transfer stage to move the lander from the lunar Gateway to low lunar orbit, based on its Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Draper will provide guidance systems and avionics for the lander.
Executives with the four companies said the urgency required by ...