Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Designing Large Lunar Lander

NASA to participate in first Israeli moon mission - Xinhua | English.news.cn

This week, American aerospace/defense/security/tech company Lockheed Martin unveiled a new crewed lunar lander, created to work with NASA's Gateway lunar outpost and using the already-proven technology and systems from NASA's Orion humanity exploration spacecraft, for which Lockheed is the primary contractor.

As a part of the agreement, a retro-reflector from NASA will be installed on SpaceIL's unmanned spacecraft.

Lockheed Martin's design will remain at the Deep Space Gateway until astronauts need to be taken to the moon.

The 46-foot single-stage lander is twice as tall as the Lunar Module used on the Apollo missions - and can carry four astronauts (twice as many as Apollo's Module).

NASA has recently submitted to Congress a plan called the National Space Exploration Campaign, which immediately follows President Donald Trump Space Policy Directive-1 signed in December 2017.

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The spacecraft can fly a crew of four to the moon's orbit and then send them down to the surface in a lander.

According to a NASA statement, "the agreement exemplifies the innovative approach that NASA and its worldwide partners are taking to team up with commercial partners to advance important science and exploration objectives on and around the Moon". According to a lunar mineralogical map released by NASA previous year, water is present nearly everywhere on the moon's surface, albeit in minute amounts. Much of the hardware will be modeled on Lockheed's future deep-space crew capsule Orion, which the company has been developing for NASA and which reportedly costs $20 billion.

An artist's conception shows Blue Origin's Blue Moon lander on the lunar surface. A version of the lander could one day end up on Mars.

According to the new agreement, which was announced on Wednesday, NASA will contribute a laser retroreflector array to aid with ground tracking and support in mission communication. First of all, Gateway needs to be deployed, and for this happen NASA needs to launch the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket humans have ever built.

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