Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company will take the first female to the surface of the moon said the billionaire on Friday as NASA approaches a decision to select its first private lunar landers able to send astronauts to the moon by 2024. He wrote on the Instagram post “This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon.”
The BE-7 is a high-performance liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen moon landing engine with 10,000 thrust, with a deep throttle of up to 2,000 lbf for an accurate landing on the moon. The BE-7 engine, which Blue Origin has been developing for years, has accumulated 1,245 seconds of test time and will supply the company’s National Team Human Landing System lunar lander.
Blue Origin is in competition with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Leidos’ Dynetics to win a contract to build NASA’s next human lunar landing system to take humans including the first woman on the moon by 2024, as part of the Artemis programme. In April, NASA awarded a $579 million lunar lander development contract to the Blue Origin team, as well as two other firms: SpaceX, which has received $135 million to help develop its spacecraft system and Dynetics, owned by Leidos, which won $253 million.