The founder of Blue Origin and Amazon, and owner of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos announced the national team at the 2019 International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C. He said Blue Origin is proud to announce a national team offering a Human Landing System for NASA. It will be used for the Artemis program of NASA to return Americans to the lunar surface by 2024. The company has signed teaming agreements with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper. They have decades of experience supporting NASA with human space flight systems, launch vehicles, orbital logistics, deep-space missions, interplanetary navigation, and planetary landings.
Bezos said, “Our combined experience is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of NASA for the Artemis program. Each partner will bring their industry-leading solutions. The agreements have indicated that Blue Origin will work as prime contractor, leads program management, systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and mission engineering while providing the Descent Element that is based on the multi-year development of the Blue Moon lunar Lander and its BE-7 engine. The Lockheed Martin will develop the reusable Ascent Element vehicle and leads crewed flight operations and training. The Northrop Grumman will provide the Transfer Element vehicle that brings the landing system down towards the Moon. The Draper will lead to descent guidance and provide flight avionics.
The CEO of Blue Origin, Bob Smith said, “National challenges call for a national response. We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team that will land NASA astronauts on the Moon. Combining our partners’ heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program”. The executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, Rick Ambrose said, “Lockheed Martin has been honored to help NASA explore space for more than 50 years, providing deep-space robotic missions, planetary landers, space shuttle heritage, and the Orion exploration spacecraft.”
The corporate vice president of Northrop Grumman, Blake Larson said, “Northrop Grumman’s commitment to put Americans back on the moon dates back over 50 years ago with the delivery of the first lunar lander for the historic Apollo Program. Along with our ongoing work on the Space Launch System boosters, astronauts escape system and the Gateway habitat”. The CEO and President of Draper, Kaigham J. Gabriel said, “When the nation needs precision guidance, it calls on Draper. We guided Apollo to the moon and back nearly 50 years ago. We’re ready to do it again with the Blue Origin team for Artemis”.