Jeff Bezos Unveils Lunar Lander To Take Astronauts To the Moon By 2024 (cnbc.com)

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Jeff Bezos, chairman of Amazon and founder of Blue Origin, unveiled his space company’s lunar lander for the first time on Thursday. “This vehicle is going to the moon,” Bezos said during an invite-only presentation to media and space industry executives. “We were given a gift — this nearby body called the moon,” Bezos said. He added that the moon is a good place to begin manufacturing in space due to its lower gravity than the Earth. Getting resources from the moon “takes 24 times less energy to get it off the surface compared to the Earth,” Bezos said, and “that is a huge lever.”

Bezos also unveiled the company’s BE-7 rocket engine at the event. The engine will be test fired for the first time this summer, Bezos said. “It’s time to go back to the moon and this time stay,” Bezos said. “I love Vice President Pence’s 2024 lunar landing goal,” Bezos said, adding that Blue Origin can meet that timeline “because we started this three years ago.” Blue Origin’s most visible program has been its New Shepard rocket system, which the company is developing to send tourists to the edge of space for 10 minutes. New Shepard has flown on 11 test flights, with its capsule, built to carry six passengers, reaching an altitude of more than 350,000. The capsule features massive windows, providing expansive views of the Earth once in space. The company plans to send its first humans onboard a New Shepard rocket sometime in the next year. But it has yet to begin selling tickets.

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