MAY 12, 2019 6:42 AM PDT

Blue Origin Shows Off New Lunar Lander Concept

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

When you think about space rockets, some of the major contributors that come to mind are NASA and SpaceX; but there are a lot of smaller companies out there that are trying to get into the space rocket business, such as Blue Origin and Rocket Lab, to name a few. Despite being the smaller guys, however, we shouldn’t underestimate their potential.

Blue Origin, a rocket startup founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, received well-deserved praise just this past week after unveiling what appears to be a conceptual lunar lander spacecraft at a conference at the Washington Convention Center. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the announcement garnered attention from NASA and other potential customers with lunar-centric goals alike.

A mock-up of Blue Origin's upcoming Blue Moon lunar lander.

Image Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Blue Origin came up with a snazzy name for its upcoming lunar-centric spacecraft too. Dubbed Blue Moon, the reusable space vehicle would be powered by a new type of engine called the BE-7, which purportedly boasts a respectable 10,000 pounds of thrust.

As Bezos explains, the Blue Moon lander will be incredibly versatile; it was designed for both crewed and uncrewed missions, and this is something that should be particularly appealing to NASA since the American space agency is slowly inching closer to its eventual goal of returning to the Moon to conduct lunar science.

Related: Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket flies for the 10th time without any issues

Here’s a concept video of Blue Moon, demonstrating Blue Origin’s vision for the spacecraft:

Blue Moon would be very useful for space agencies and commercial space companies alike because it would open a new door for lunar exploration. It’s roomy enough to support a bevy of different payloads in a single shipment, including smaller surface landers, autonomous rovers, and Moon-orbiting satellites, among others.

Bezos left no rock unturned in his sales pitch, attempting to sell the Blue Moon concept to potential buyers like NASA, who are currently being pressured to meet Moon-centric deadlines by the White House by 2024. Bezos explained that because Blue Moon has been under development since 2016, that Blue Origin would be able to help NASA meet its deadline.

Related: Jeff Bezos is determined to make Blue Origin into the best space tourism company

Given all the SLS rocket delays that NASA continues to contend with, and the recent anomaly involving one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules during a static fire test, Blue Origin’s sales pitch couldn’t have come at a more convenient time. In fact, that might’ve even been Bezos’ reasoning for unveiling the Blue Moon concept at this particular point in time – quite clever if that is so.

From what we can tell, Blue Moon aims to be a technologically-advanced option for space agencies and commercial space companies to explore the Moon, and it should be interesting to see whether NASA or any other significant customers will bite on Bezos’ sales pitch.

Moreover, having more options for space travel increases competition in the aerospace industry; this means we could see reduced space travel costs in the foreseeable future. Only time will tell, however…

Source: BBC, New York Times, YouTube

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 08, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 08, 2019
Why the Search for Other Planets is So Captivating
Astronomers are continuously searching for other planets, whether those reside right here in the solar system with us, or far away in another stellar syste...
NOV 17, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 17, 2019
How Much Do You Know About Triton?
Far beyond the reach of the terrestrial and gas giant planets in our solar system exists an entirely different class of world known as ice giants. Uranus a...
DEC 09, 2019
Clinical & Molecular DX
DEC 09, 2019
Astronauts help to advanced personalized medicine
Extreme temperatures and lethal levels of radiation are just some of the hazards faced by astronauts as they traverse the harsh conditions of space. Additi...
DEC 02, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 02, 2019
The Air Force's X-37B Plane Spent 780 Days in Space, But Why?
The United States Air Force regularly conducts top-secret missions and science experiments on behalf of the federal government. One of the military branch&...
DEC 20, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 20, 2019
Physics Breakthroughs in 2019
The Physics World magazine is an iconic publication in the scientific community. This month, its editorial team selected the top 10 Breakthroughs for...
FEB 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 16, 2020
ISS Poised to Receive Fresh Supplies by Tuesday
Life on the International Space Station isn’t quite as convenient as it is for the rest of us here on Earth. With no convenient restaurants or conven...
Loading Comments...