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Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin could take SpaceX to the Moon| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Which multibillion-dollar space company will reach the moon first: Elon Musk's SpaceX or Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin?

At first glance, SpaceX appears to have a big advantage. It is about to launch Starship's third test flight. A variation of Starship It is scheduled to take NASA astronauts to the surface of the moon in September 2026.

By contrast, Blue Origin hasn't put anything into orbit yet, and its contract with NASA for a lunar lander for astronauts it is for a mission that will launch in 2030.

But Blue Origin could still get there first. SpaceX faces big challenges with Starship, which is the height of a 16-story building, while Blue Origin plans to send a smaller cargo lander to the moon late next year.

“We expect this lander to land on the Moon between 12 and 16 months from today,” John Couluris, senior vice president of lunar permanence at Blue Origin, said during a conference.n interview on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” this month.

The first launch of the Mark 1 version of the Blue Moon lander is what Blue Origin calls a “pioneering” for testing technologies such as the BE-7 engine, flight computers, avionics and power systems, the same systems which will be used in the A much larger Mark 2 lander that will take astronauts to the surface of the Moon.

The Mark 1 lander can carry up to three tons of cargo to the lunar surface, but will be small enough to fit inside one of Blue Origin's vehicles. New Glenn rockets. New Glenn hasn't taken off yet, but the company says its debut voyage will take place later this year.

After Blue Moon Mark 1 is launched into orbit about 125 miles above Earth's surface, the lander's BE-7 engine will propel it toward the Moon, slowing it into orbit around the Moon and then guiding it until landing on the surface.

The smaller size means that the Mark 1 lander, unlike Starship, will not need to refuel before leaving Earth orbit. Demonstrating in-orbit refueling technology will be a key test to validate the Starship design. The Blue Moon Mark 2 lander will also need to be refueled.

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