Blue Origin unveils lunar lander ‘Blue Moon’ and BE-7 rocket engine

Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs

Jeff Bezos, the founder of U.S. privately-funded space company Blue Origin and e-commerce giant Amazon, has revealed the concept of the Blue Moon lander which will be able to bring missions and cargo to Earth's natural satellite. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced earlier this year the agency plans to return astronauts to the moon within five years, but this time, to stay.

"This is an incredible vehicle and it's going to the moon", Bezos said, according to CNN.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos has unveiled a mock-up of a lunar lander as part of his grand plan to inhabit the Moon and other parts of the solar system. Most importantly, it has the capability of carrying 3.6 to 6.5 metric tons of payload that includes a rover and humans interested in traveling to the lunar surface.

The announcement came as Bezos outlined his broader vision to build an infrastructure that would sustain the colonization of space by future generations of humans and shift polluting industries off the Earth.

Blue Origin has previously discussed a human outpost on the moon.

The vehicle has been under development for the past three years, he said.

While Bezos went out of his way to praise Pence's timeline, the billionaire has been the target of repeated criticism from President Donald Trump, who has referred to him as Jeff "Bozo".

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Mr Bezos also unveiled a new rocket engine on Thursday, called BE-7, which is powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and has 4,535 kilograms of thrust. It's first stage, Bezos said, is created to be reused 25 times.

The goal is to land on the Moon's south pole, where ice deposits were confirmed in 2018.

While a $30 million prize for private companies to send robotic probes to the moon went unclaimed past year, one of the competitors, from an Israeli private nonprofit, crashed last month as it tried to land.

"One of the most important things we know about the moon today is that there's water there", he said. "It's in the form of ice".

The Blue Moon lunar lander comes loaded with enough fuel to get from Earth to the Moon. An area on the Moon's south pole, known as the Shackleton crater, is seen as a strong candidate for a solar-powered moon base, since it is exposed to nearly perpetual sunlight.

Bezos did not address his company's Twitter post last month teasing the event with a picture of the ship used by explorer Ernest Shackleton on a 1914 expedition to Antarctica.

Nothing is ready: not the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket being developed by Boeing which is necessary to transport vehicles and astronauts.

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