Technology

Blue Origin flies to the moon: Jeff Bezos presented a prototype of the landing module

At a private event at the DC Convention Center inThe United States is the richest man on the planet and the head of Blue Origin, a private aerospace company, Jeff Bezos, showed a layout of the Blue Moon landing module being developed, which will be used to deliver scientific cargo, as well as people on the Earth's satellite surface. According to Bezos, the company has been developing the device for the last three years, and is finally ready to submit it.

"This is an amazing machine, and it will go to the moon," said the head of a private space company, showing the Blue Moon at the DC Convention Center in Washington.

Only journalists and journalists were invited to the event.representatives of the space industry. The event began with a video about the Apollo 11 space mission during which American astronauts first landed on Earth in 1969.

“If it doesn’t inspire you, then you’ve come to the wrong event,” Bezos joked.

The head of Blue Origin shared sometechnical lunar details of the Blue Moon lander. So, it was stated that the device would be able to make a soft landing on the satellite surface with 3.6-6.5 tons of payload.

The module will be equipped with a rising step (forreturn to Earth), and will also be able to transport either one large manned lunar rover on the roof, which in turn will be equipped with microsatellites, “firing” from the apparatus already on the Moon, or with two compact automatic research rovers.

In addition, the module will be equipped with an advanced navigation system, LIDAR system for mapping the lunar surface, as well as gigabit Internet based on laser technology for communication with the Earth.

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During the event, Bezos also showed a newBE-7 liquid hydrogen rocket engine, which the company is developing specifically for the lunar landing module. According to the head of Blue Origin, the first fire tests of the installation will be held this summer.

Today, many leading (and not only) spaceagencies dream of the moon. The same US government set a goal for NASA to return man to Earth's satellite over the next five years, in 2024. By the way, the first American among the lunar explorers of the new generation should be a woman, according to the statements of the US Vice-President Mike Pence and the head of NASA Jim Brydenstein. Even despite the fact that the US aerospace agency still has not submitted to Congress a report on the estimated financial costs of the new lunar program, NASA will certainly need new equipment for the exploration of the Moon and, in particular, landing modules that can deliver people to its surface whole and unscathed.

Today’s Bezos announcement may have been a kind of attempt to show that Blue Origin is aimed at the same timeframe set by the US government for NASA.

"We can help cope with the goal,but only due to the fact that they began their development three years ago, ”said Bezos, but did not indicate when the first launch of the manned Blue Moon module would take place.

It should be noted that the past event BlueOrigin announced at the end of April the publication of the image of the Endurance ship of the famous Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, which clearly served as a reference to the lunar crater Shackleton. According to Washington Post, Blue Origin also showed interest in this geological education earlier, for example, in 2017 by publishing an information document describing landing plans in this area.

Representatives of the company even spoke atUS Congress, talking about the potential benefits of exploring this crater. For example, one of these advantages is the fact that the crater is under continuous illumination of the sun's rays. On the moon, as you know, the day lasts for two terrestrial weeks. At the same time during the moonlit night the temperature on the surface can drop to -185 degrees Celsius. Operation of robotics in such conditions is a very severe test. The Shackleton crater, in turn, is under prolonged exposure to the sun's rays, which potentially simplifies the task of studying the satellite surface. Devices equipped with solar panels will be able to work in such conditions for a very long time.

In addition, the Shackleton crater is located in the Souththe pole of the moon where potentially the most valuable space resource is located is water ice. NASA in the past has already confirmed the presence of ice deposits in shaded craters, where the temperature does not rise above -156 degrees Celsius. Water ice is very important. On its basis, it is possible to produce rocket fuel and drinking water, which can help people maintain a constant presence on the Earth’s satellite.

"One of the most important things that we know -the presence of water on the moon. She is there in the form of ice. Stored in shaded craters at the poles of the satellite. This is probably the most important resource available there, ”Bezos said.

Yes, the moon has helium-3 (which canused as fuel for thermonuclear fusion), but without the possibility of constant support for future colonists with water, there will be no colonists, as well as the extraction of this helium-3.

The presence of water on the moon is also important for the company because its new BE-7 engine of the Blue Moon landing module will run on liquid hydrogen.

"We use liquid hydrogen, because inultimately going to mine it from the lunar water. Thanks to this, we will be able to refuel spacecraft right on the satellite, ”Bezos shared.

In addition to the topic of moon resources, Bezos also touchedthe theme of the concepts of space systems, the creation of which will be available in the more distant future. For example, he shared with the assembled journalists his dreams of seeing the creation of the “O’Neal colony” - a giant artificial-gravity space station capable of supporting millions of people on board. It should be noted that he turned to this concept not for the first time, but once again noted that the main task of all these discussions is to inspire future generations.

"What I'm showing here today is obviouslywill be a project of several generations. This is impossible to create within a single generation. One of our goals is to inspire these future generations, ”he said.

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