Blue Origin ramps up team for Blue Moon lander as it waits for word from NASA

Bezos and Blue Moon lander
Jeff Bezos shows off a mockup of the Blue Moon lunar lander at its unveiling in Washington, D.C., in May 2019. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture has posted more than 50 job openings for its Blue Moon lunar lander program, which is currently under consideration for NASA funding.

  • The online listings put out the word about positions at Blue Origin’s home base in Kent, Wash., ranging from chief engineer to administrative assistant. Most of the positions focus on software engineering and systems development. For what it’s worth, a mockup of the Blue Moon lander is the centerpiece of the O’Neill Building, the company’s new headquarters in Kent.
  • Bezos unveiled that mockup last May in Washington, D.C., and last October he announced that Blue Origin was teaming up with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to propose an integrated landing system for NASA’s Artemis moon program. NASA’s mission architecture calls for the use of commercial landers to send astronauts to the moon’s south polar region by as early as 2024 via a moon-orbiting Gateway outpost.
  • NASA is due to award the first round of 10-month development contracts for a human landing system as early as this month, with an eye toward ordering landers for the 2024 mission and perhaps a 2025 follow-up demonstration. That plan may have to be reworked, however, because Congress approved only $600 million of the $1 billion that NASA sought for the lander program. Boeing and a team including Dynetics and Sierra Nevada Corp. have also proposed lander concepts, and SpaceX is thought to have done so as well.

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