NASA Picks Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin for Artemis Moon Mission

On their second try, Jeff Bezos and his rocket company have won a contract to take NASA astronauts to the moon.

NASA announced on Friday that it had awarded a contract to Mr. Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, to provide a lunar lander for a moon mission that is scheduled to launch in 2029. NASA agreed to pay $3.4 billion for the 50-foot-tall spacecraft, which is named Blue Moon and can transport four astronauts to the moon’s surface.

The mission, Artemis V, is another critical piece of NASA’s Artemis program to send astronauts back to the moon as part of an effort to explore its south pole region. Astronauts are to land on the moon in a vehicle built by SpaceX for the Artemis III and IV missions.

John Couluris, Blue Origin’s vice president for lunar transportation, said that the company was contributing “well north” of the price of the NASA contract amount to the development effort and that it, not NASA, would absorb any cost overruns. In the past, some members of Congress have complained about providing taxpayer money to Blue Origin, given Mr. Bezos’ wealth.

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