Today is definitely a big day for Blue Origin and its founder, Jeff Bezos, and not necessarily a bad one, but a bit annoying for Elon Musk, and I’ll explain later why I’m mentioning it in an unavailable story. directly related to him or SpaceX. But to understand everything that is happening, it is necessary to do a little history.
Of the current space-related projects, NASA’s Artemis program is undoubtedly the most exciting . It is true that the commissioning of the James Webb has been a milestone, and that it has already begun to take place on the replacement for the veteran International Space Station, something also sensational. However, the prospect of returning to the Moon in the short term, and of humans reaching the surface of Mars in the next decade, is nothing short of insurmountable.
When the Artemis project (now the program) was launched, during the Trump administration, NASA opened a contest for the participation of private companies in it and, although at first glance it seemed that they were going to hire two companies, a host of Circumstances forced the US space agency to keep only one, and the chosen one was Space X. This decision did not please Blue Origin , which took the scenario of the two contractors for granted, being one of the chosen ones. From that point, the company began a tortuous judicial journey, while Jezz Bezos entered the melee with Elon Musk . A few months later, the legal trail ended, leaving Blue Origin out of the program .
However, the fact that this legal process had concluded did not mean that the company’s aspirations had come to an end , since since then movements have continued to take place aimed at allowing NASA to have a second contractor, a very important measure to guarantee the correct development of the mission, in the event that any type of problem occurs that prevents one of them from complying with the provisions of the contract.
Thus, today these movements have borne fruit and, consequently, NASA has announced that Blue Origin will be its second provider of the lunar lander, and that its lander will be used in the Artemis V mission , which will be the third of the program in which the human being will step on the Moon again. Let’s remember that Artemis I took place at the end of last year , and that Artemis II is scheduled for November 2024 . There is still no date for Artemis III, which will be the return of the human being to the Moon, but it is expected that it can take place sometime in 2025.
With the contracting of Blue Origin, the lunar landing module of Jeff Bezos’s company will be added to that of SpaceX, which will be the one used in Artemis III and Artemis IV, which means that from that moment the US space agency will already have redundancy at this point, something that will undoubtedly be a great improvement for the program. Although, after the unfortunate descent into the mud starring Bezos and Musk, we hope that this does not influence the collaboration between the two companies .