Bezos’ space company teams with Lockheed, Boeing for NASA moon lander pitch

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FILE PHOTO: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin's space exploration plans in Washington

By Joey Roulette

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is partnering with Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp to pitch a lunar lander to NASA as the agency seeks to send humans to the moon again, the companies announced on Tuesday.

The joint moon lander proposal, led by Blue Origin, marks the companies’ second attempt to win a coveted moon lander contract as NASA seeks more options for getting astronauts to the lunar surface under its multibillion dollar Artemis program.

Last year, NASA picked Elon Musk’s SpaceX to conduct the first few Artemis moon landing missions within the next decade, rejecting a rival bid from a similar Blue Origin-led team primarily over funding constraints. NASA later opened another competition seeking a second moon lander to serve as a backup to SpaceX’s.

Blue Origin revealed its team’s submission to that second NASA program in a brief statement posted on its website on Tuesday, saying “in partnership with NASA, this team will achieve sustained presence on the Moon.”

The deadline for proposals was Tuesday. NASA is expected to make an award decision in June 2023.

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Blue Origin’s team also includes spacecraft software firm Draper, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics, a manufacturer of military and civil robotic systems that was acquired by Blue Origin in January.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)