Jeff Bezos unveils Blue Moon lunar lander, plans to start constructing a moon base - Stuff

Jeff Bezos unveils Blue Moon lunar lander, plans to start constructing a moon base

A blue moon, if you’re being technically correct (the best kind of correct), is the second full moon to appear in a single calendar month. This Blue Moon, though, is the lunar lander recently unveiled by Amazon head and Blue Origin founder, Jeff Bezos.

The point? To settle humans on the moon, eventually. The lander has been designed “…to provide precise and soft landings” and also to deliver payloads of up to 3.6 metric tons to the lunar surface. It’s a good combination because much of the gear we may want to send to the moon would be sensitive to impact. And pretty much all of the humans we send would fare better without enduring unplanned spontaneous disassembly.

Fly me to the moon

Blue Origin hopes to get the Blue Moon to the moon as soon as possible, a goal the company shares with NASA. We reckon Bezos is considering the financial rewards of such a move — though the prestige must be attractive as well. Blue Origin is working on a larger rocket, the BE-7, that will take the lander to the lunar satellite, and also on a larger version of their lunar lander. The “6.5-metric-ton, human-rated ascent stage” would be able to ferry humans off the lunar surface. The current lander is cargo-only, which is great. Rather test it with inanimate objects, in case it fails on descent and lands in a ‘crater’ (read: scattered mess).

The current Blue Moon lander will “…deliver large infrastructure payloads with high accuracy to pre-position systems for future missions”. This is an essential part of building a human-sustaining colony on any planet that isn’t Earth. Bits will have to be dropped off in advance before firing humans along in the rear to put everything together. If Blue Origin can manage it, it’ll mark another huge milestone in human development. Plus, it’ll mean that we can finally say “I don’t want to live on this planet any more” and mean it.

And if we finally get a moon base? We’re pretty sure that Amazon will be one of the first companies there, just possibly working on some tech to fire parcels to Earth using some kind of giant space cannon. Oh come on, we can dream, can’t we? You can find more detailed info concerning the Blue Moon lunar lander at the link below.

Source: Blue Origin

Stuff South Africa's online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He's kind of shy.

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