Our mission to help you navigate the new normal is driven by subscribers. Subscribe today for full access to our journalism.
The competition to build the next spaceship to take astronauts to the moon is getting serious. Four months after NASA selected three teams as finalists, one of the teams, led by Jeff Bezos & # 39; rocket company Blue Origin, delivered a 40-foot high model lander to the space agency for testing on Thursday.
The vehicle was designed by the team of Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper – known as the national team in the moon landing competition. The other two teams are Elon Musk's SpaceX and Alabama rocket maker Dynetics.
Each group was given nearly $ 1 billion and 10 months to develop lander designs. Next year NASA will decide whether to move on with one or more teams, in hopes of bringing people back to the moon by 2024 as part of the Artemis program.
The national team delivered their comprehensive engineering model to the Johnson Space Center in Houston so NASA engineers could determine how well it met the needs of crew members and provide feedback to the companies. With the full-scale replica, NASA can see how easily crew members can load and unload supplies and equipment.
"The physical ability to see, interact, and evaluate a full-fledged lander in person is critical," Kirk Shireman, vice president of Lunar Campaigns at Lockheed Martin Space, said in a statement. "It will inform our design and requirements at the beginning of the program and allow us to accelerate our development and meet the 2024 moon landing target."
The design consists of two main components. A module brings the crew of a larger ship in orbit to the surface of the moon. It is based on the previously announced Blue Origin robotic lunar lander for the transport of cargo. An additional section brings the crew back into orbit around the moon. This part is based on Lockheed Martin's Orion crew capsule, which is used to take people into space on other missions.
A team of Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin provided MASA with a model of a planned new moon spacecraft for testing. Courtesy of Blue Origin
The lander also contains components from the other two partners on the team. Northrup Grumman contributes designs for his Cygnus spacecraft to parts of the lander that transport it from orbit to the moon, and Draper designs guidance and avionics systems.
Here are some additional company images of what the lunar lander would look like in operation:
The national team lands as if they were landing on the moon.
The lunar lander as it would appear is docked with another spaceship in orbit around the moon.
The lander as it would look on the lunar surface.
More needs to be read technical coverage from capital::
- "It's Clicks Against Bricks": Why Tech Stocks Won't Fade So Quickly
- Samsung Note20 Ultra Review: Why This Great Phone Works for the COVID Era
- Facebook and NYU researchers are discovering a way to speed up MRI scans
- The US Postal Service applies for a patent for the telephone vote
- Electric vehicle startup Canoo goes public and joins the wave of companies tracking Tesla's success