Blue Origin Unveils Uncrewed Blue Moon Lunar Lander for NASA’s Artemis Mission
Blue Origin has recently revealed a full-sized mockup of an uncrewed version of its Blue Moon lunar lander. The lander is intended to test technologies that will be used in the crewed version being developed for NASA's Artemis mission.
The first flight, known as the "Pathfinder Mission," will be designated as MK1-SN001. It will test critical systems such as the BE- engine, cryogenic fluid power, avionics, continuous downlink communications, and precision landing.
Blue Origin has stated that future Mark landers, starting with MK-SN002, will be available to carry customer payloads. The company is part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program for uncrewed lunar landings.
The crewed version of the Blue Moon lander is scheduled to be used on the Artemis mission, which is likely to take place no earlier than late this decade. The Artemis mission will utilize SpaceX's Starship for both the Artemis 2 and Artemis 3 landings.
Blue Origin is working on developing a terrain relative navigation system using lidar to achieve landing precision down to single-digit meters. This system will be tested on future Mark landings.