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Satnews Daily
May 3rd, 2020

NASA Selects the Blue Origin National Team to Develop the Artemis Human Landing System

The Blue Origin National Team, which includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper, was selected by NASA to start the development of the Artemis Human Landing System.

Using existing and in development technologies provides the head start needed to meet NASA’s goal of landing at the South Pole of the Moon. Lockheed Martin’s Ascent Element is based on Orion; Northrop Grumman’s Transfer Element is based on Cygnus; and Blue Origin’s Descent Element is based on the Blue Moon lander and BE-7 engine, which has been in development for several years.

Each National Team partner brings industry-leading solutions:

Blue Origin, as prime contractor, leads program management, systems engineering, safety and mission assurance, and mission engineering and operations; and develops the Descent Element. Lockheed Martin develops the reusable Ascent Element vehicle and leads crewed flight operations and training. Northrop Grumman develops the Transfer Element vehicle that delivers the landing system into low lunar orbit for final descent. Draper leads descent guidance and provides flight avionics.

Bob Smith

Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin, said NASA’s Artemis program will be the next major milestone in the history of human space flight and the company is honored to be a part of it. Blue Origin's National Team brings unparalleled heritage, passion and innovation that will enable Americans to return to the surface and inspire another generation. It’s time to go back to the Moon, this time to stay.

Richard F. Ambrose

Rick Ambrose, EVP, Lockheed Martin Space, added that the company is honored to be partnered with Blue Origin and this National Team as all begin a moment in history that the world will point to for generations. The Artemis astronauts will descend to the surface and ascend off the surface inside an advanced crewed ascent element. The best way to accomplish this safely and quickly is to leverage NASA’s investment in Orion, an existing human-rated deep space spaceship, which maximizes common training and operations.

Blake Larson

Blake Larson, Corporate VP and President of Northrop Grumman Space Systems, noted that putting humans back on the lunar surface is an inspiring goal for the nation. The company is proud to support this team and NASA with the firm's decades of experience, comprehensive capabilities, and Northrop Grumman's proven space systems as we return to the Moon.

Seamus Tuohy

Seamus Tuohy, Principal Director of Space Systems, Draper, stated that the extensive portfolio and heritage in human exploration avionics is reinforced by current work on Lockheed’s Orion, NASA’s SLS, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus and Blue Origin’s engine, New Glenn and Blue Moon programs. Draper is prepared for this united team to return humans to the moon, just as the company did with Apollo.”

The National Team looks forward to embarking on the next steps with NASA and continuing progress to return to the Moon – this time to stay.

Blue Origin's founder, Jeff Bezos, announced the national team at the 2019 International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C.