NASA has chosen Blue Origin from Kent, Washington to create a human landing system for their Artemis V mission to the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission is going to explore more of the Moon than ever before! This will help us discover new things about the Moon and prepare for future missions to Mars.
What role will Blue Origin play in NASA’s Artemis V mission to the Moon and the development of a human landing system?
For repeated astronaut trips to the lunar surface, including docking with Gateway, a space station where crew transfers take place in lunar orbit, Blue Origin will design, develop, test, and certify its Blue Moon lander to meet NASA’s requirements for human landing systems. The contract involves creating and testing a spacecraft for a trip to the moon. This will include a test run without any people on board, followed by a trip with a crew in 2029. The contract is worth $3.4 billion.
“Today we are excited 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.”
Rocket and Spacecraft involved in the mission:
NASA’s Artemis V mission will send four astronauts to orbit the moon using the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. After Orion docks with Gateway, two astronauts will take a weeklong trip to the Moon’s South Pole region using Blue Origin’s human landing system. They will conduct science and exploration activities during their time there. Artemis V is a mission that will help NASA explore the moon and prepare for future missions to Mars. It will show how we can explore the moon and set up systems to support more missions in the future.
What are the benefits of involving more partners in NASA’s Artemis program to land humans on the Moon?
NASA is looking for more partners to help them land humans on the Moon as part of their Artemis program. This will make things more competitive and save money for taxpayers. It will also mean more trips to the Moon and more investment in the lunar economy. All of this will help NASA get ready for sending astronauts to Mars in the future.
What is NASA’s strategy for expanding access to space and encouraging innovation in human landing system designs?
The agency hired SpaceX to create a system for humans to land on the moon for the Artemis III mission. The agency instructed SpaceX to update its design to meet its standards for sustainable exploration and to showcase the lander during Artemis IV under the contract. NASA has made a deal with Blue Origin to create a lander meeting certain Artemis V mission requirements. This lander will be able to carry more crew members, stay on the Moon for long periods of time, and transport more materials. This means that there will be more companies available to compete for future opportunities to help NASA with their missions to the Moon.
NASA will contribute to expanding access to space for the benefit of all by encouraging businesses to develop cutting-edge human landing system concepts and designs. This will help industries come up with better ideas and designs for landing systems.
“Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with different approaches to how they meet NASA’s mission needs, provides more robustness and ensures a regular cadence of Moon landings,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager of, the Human Landing System Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “This competitive approach drives innovation, brings down costs, and invests in commercial capabilities to grow the business opportunities that can serve other customers and foster a lunar economy.”
What is Appendix P?
NASA released a request called Appendix P in September 2022. This is part of their work to create new and better ways to explore space. They’re looking for partners to help them with this project.
A brief introduction to the program:
NASA is planning to send astronauts to the Moon through a program called Artemis. This mission is significant because it will include the first woman and the first person of color to explore the Moon. The goal of the mission is to make scientific discoveries, reap economic benefits, and establish a base for future missions to Mars. NASA has a solid plan for exploring deep space. They’re using five important things to make it happen: the SLS rocket, Orion, Gateway, advanced spacesuits, and human landing systems.