The space race is steadily intensifying with each passing year. While private corporations race to build and launch rockets, Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has gone a step further than the rest by unveiling a state-of-the- art lunar lander. The world’s richest man introduced his company’s ambitious project at a private event in Washington DC.
Christened as the Blue Moon, the lander would be powered by liquid hydrogen and would use high-speed gigabyte internet to communicate with controllers on earth. Moreover, it is also fitted with a LIDAR system that can be used to navigate the lunar terrain. LIDAR uses a laser to measure distances and generate three-dimensional renderings of a targeted area’s landscape and topography. It would be used to search for a suitable landing site during missions. The lander also has its own systems for navigation in space and a set of unique landing gears which would allow it to land on surfaces that are slightly inclined. What’s interesting is Blue Moon’s payload, which is 6 metric tons, and also includes a rover.
Blue Origin’s ambitious project comes at a time when the current United States government has expressed interest in plans for sending manned missions to the moon. If or when those come to fruition, there is little doubt that they would be carried out by private contractors like Blue Origin or SpaceX.