Max Q: Double the fun


Hello and welcome back to Max Q!

In this matter:

  • Blue Origin lands major NASA contract
  • News from SpaceX and more

NASA hires a Blue Origin-led team to build a second human landing system on the Moon, joining SpaceX

NASA has hired a Blue Origin-led team to develop a second lunar landing system for the Artemis program as the agency wants to compete with SpaceX and support long-term lunar exploration.

The winning team includes Lockheed Martin, Draper, Boeing, Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics. The deal is valued at $3.4 billion, but Blue Origin vice president John Couluris said the company plans to contribute “well in excess” of that number — meaning the entire endeavor is likely to cost at least $7 billion. will cost dollars.

Blue Origin said it will develop a 52-foot-tall lander called Blue Moon and land it on the lunar south pole. Blue Moon is sized to fit into the payload fairing of Blue’s developing New Glenn rocket. The team led by Blue plans to attempt an unmanned mission a year before accepting astronauts. Another version of the lander is also intended to transport up to 30 tons of cargo to the lunar surface.

Shortly after the news was announced, Jeff Bezos tweeted that he was “honoured to be on this journey with the space agency.”

Photo credit: blue origin / Blue Origin (opens in a new window)

More news from TC and beyond

  • astra received an additional launch contract with the US Department of Defense for the Rocket 4 test flight. (astra/astra)
  • NASA is targeting a two-year overlap between the launch of private space stations and the decommissioning of the International Space Station in 2030.Michael Sheetz)
  • SpaceX has hired former head of NASA’s manned spaceflight, Kathy Lueders, as the company advances its Starship launch system to take humans back to the moon and beyond. (TechCrunch)
  • Space Forge, a Welsh space manufacturing start-up, has developed a satellite re-entry system to enable rapid recovery and reuse of orbital factory spacecraft. (TechCrunch)
  • Stoke Space has received several investments from In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency. (TechCrunch)
  • Stratolaunch has made a $17 million bid for some of Virgin Orbit’s assets, including the modified Boeing 747 “Cosmic Girl” airliner, as part of Virgin’s bankruptcy proceedings. (TechCrunch)
  • United Starting Alliance intends to conduct a static fire test of the Vulcan Centaur missile soon, although the company has yet to complete its pre-launch anomaly investigation. (SpaceNews)
  • Varda room Industry sectors, a space manufacturing startup, is about to raise $25M at a post-money valuation of $500M. (TechCrunch)

Max Q will be brought to you by me, Aria Alamalhodaei. If you enjoy reading Max Q, consider forwarding to a friend.

Max F: Double the fun by Aria Alamalhodaei originally posted on TechCrunch

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