Blue Origin targets moon landing by 2023

A.C. Charania
A.C. Charania, Blue Origin’s business development director, addresses the NewSpace conference with a picture of his company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, looming in the background. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Blue Origin, the space venture founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, is laying out a plan to support the creation of permanent settlements on the moon, starting with a lunar landing mission within the next five years.

The Kent, Wash.-based company’s roadmap was laid out most recently last week during the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace conference in Renton, Wash.

Blue Origin’s business development director, A.C. Charania, said the company’s Blue Moon program is “our first step to developing a lunar landing capability for the country, for other customers internationally, to be able to land multi metric tons on the lunar surface.”

“Any permanent human presence on the lunar surface will require such a capability,” he said.

Charania said “we’re actively working on the descent stage for Blue Moon, the capabilities, the partnerships that are required to enable that service … to start going back to the moon with larger and larger payloads.”

Blue Moon could help answer longstanding scientific questions about the moon’s origin and evolution, delve into lunar resource identification and extraction, and “enable human lunar return,” Charania said.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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