Blue Origin is ‘going to the moon’
Published : Saturday, 11 May, 2019 at 10:39 PM Count : 368
Blue Origin is now in the running to put Americans back on the moon by 2024.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed the ambitious next steps for his aerospace company at a highly-secretive media event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
During the event, which kicked off at 4 p.m., the billionaire and Blue Origin founder started off by sharing elaborate concept images of self-sustaining space habitats reminiscent of the film Interstellar, with lush greenery and futuristic homes within its walls.
But, the real star of the talk turned out to be something much closer to home – the moon. On stage, Bezos took the wraps off a massive model of what will be the firm’s first lunar lander, dubbed Blue Moon.
‘This is an incredible vehicle, and it’s going to the moon,’ Bezos said, according to CNN, which live-blogged the event.
According to the CEO, the lander has been in development for the last three years and is on track for a 2024 crewed moon landing – falling in line with the five-year deadline revealed earlier this year by Vice President Mike Pence.
The plan could ultimately serve as a stepping stone for colonization of the moon and deeper space targets, Bezos suggested.
'It's time to go back to the moon, this time to stay,' Bezos said during the event, according to CNN, mirroring a statement made repeatedly over the past few months by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Blue Origin says its lunar lander will be able to carry all sorts of payloads to the surface and can hold ‘multiple metric tons.’
The craft will ’enable a sustained human presence on the moon,’ the company said. And, according to the CEO, the company already has about six customers.
The lander builds upon technology the firm has been testing over the past few years in its New Shepard rocket, including propulsion and precision guidance, as well as the vertical landing system. The firm has quietly been developing Blue Moon for years.
According to CNN, Blue Origin is also developing a new rocket engine specifically for its planned moon landings. The system, called BE-7, has been in the works for three years.
Blue Origin says it could conduct the first test fire as soon as this summer.
Bezos also delved into his visions for human colonization of the moon and eventually, deep space, touching on the concept of self-sustaining ‘O’Neill colonies’ exponentially larger than the International Space Station where humans and animals could live.
Earth’s resources alone won’t be able to sustain humanity forever even with energy conservation, the mogul noted during the event, according to CNN.
Considering the possibility of a future that relies on strict rationing, Bezos suggests we must look toward space in order to continue thriving.
‘That’s the path that we would be on,' he said,’ according to CNN.
‘It would lead for the first time to where your children and grandchildren have worse lives than you. That's a bad path.
The event was first teased last month in a cryptic tweet from the Blue Origin Twitter account, where it shared an image of explorer Ernest Shackleton's Endurance, a polar exploration ship lost to the ice in in 1915.
Additionally, in a notice sent to the reporters, the company said it 'will give an update on [Blue Origin's] progress and share our vision of going to space to benefit Earth.'-Daily Mail