An artist’s conception shows Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lander on the lunar surface. (Blue Origin Illustration)
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space venture, Blue Origin, has signed a letter of intent to cooperate with Germany’s OHB Group and MT Aerospace on a future mission to the moon that’ll use Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander.
The arrangement could mesh with OHB’s participation in a project to build a European-built module for the international lunar orbital platform known as the Gateway, which is due to take shape in the mid-2020s. OHB Systems is a key development partner for the planned logistics module, which is known as the European System Providing Refueling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications or ESPRIT.
MT Aerospace is a German supplier specializing in antennas, avionics and production systems for aerospace applications.
Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, MT Aerospace CEO Hans Steininger and OHB executives Lutz Bertling and Kurt Melching signed the cooperative agreement on Tuesday during the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, OHB said in a news release.
The companies say they’re partnering on a future Blue Moon mission to the lunar surface and will collaborate on a payload for Blue Origin’s reusable, orbital-class New Glenn rocket – but it sounds as if the details still have to be worked out.
“We are delighted to have gained Blue Origin as a dialogue partner who has established itself over the past few years as one of the leading companies in the aerospace industry,” OHB’s Bertling said. “We are convinced that the mixture of the respective competencies will quickly lead to concrete approaches for further cooperation.”
Blue Origin, which is headquartered in Kent, Wash., plans to start launching the New Glenn from Florida as early as 2020. The first Blue Moon mission to the lunar surface could take place by as early as 2023, company executives have said.