Now that the moon has water on it, Jeff Bezos is already planning how to get it. The Amazon founder established the Blue Origin space venture back in 2000 with a focus on creating reusable launch vehicles. This leads into his grand plan of settling humans on the moon.
The company is working on a landing system that could travel astronauts to the moon by 2024. But Blue Origin is planning to send a cargo mission to the moon before that in 2023.
Blue Origin’s chief scientist, Steve Squyres, spoke at a virtual symposium held by the University of Washington’s Space Policy and Research Center. He outlined plans that Blue Origin has for an Amazon-like delivery service to the moon.
Blue Origin originally announced the cargo delivery concept in 2017, but more details were confirmed today. Squyres explained that the 2023 cargo mission is part of the overall plan for a permanent human settlement on the moon. The landing gear in this mission will also serve as an early test for the crewed mission scheduled for 2024.
There’s no confirmation on what will be included in the cargo delivery as yet. What does one need on the moon?
“This lander in 2023 can deliver up to 1,000 kilograms, an entire metric ton of cargo, onto the surface. Some of that cargo can be emergency supplies, tools, spare parts, a rover for the crew to drive around in if NASA has it ready in time.” Squyres said.
The un-crewed mission is aiming to land close to the target site for the 2024 landing. Blue Origin is hoping to establish a base camp on the moon which will then receive regular cargo deliveries. The company is currently working with industry partners to develop ascent modules for both manned and unmanned spacecraft. Squyres also said that the first priority for the settlement project would be to build “landing and launch pads that will make flight operations safe at a base where there are people and infrastructure in place.”
If everything goes according to plan it looks like we could soon be sending packages to space. Alexa, change my delivery address to the moon.