Jeff Bezos, CEO, and founder of tech giant Amazon projected in an Instagram post that his company, Blue Origin, will put the first woman on the moon come 2024. The video which he posted during the weekend showed the BE-7 engine which will be used for the moon mission project if NASA awards the historic project to Blue Origin.
“This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon,” the video caption reads.
The engine which was built by Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper has been tested for about 20 minutes, according to Jeff Bezos. The four tech companies make up Blue Origin’s Human Landing System National Team. The Jeff Bezos-owned space company assembled the team in 2019 to build the moon landing engine.
NASA is currently considering three companies for the manned moon landing, the first of its kind in 48 years. The space agency announced, in April, that the contract will be awarded to two of Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Dynetics. SpaceX is Elon Musk’s space exploration company while Dynetics is one of the subsidiaries of Leidos. The two successful companies will partake in the scheduled moon landing in 2024.
If Blue Origin is one of the companies chosen for the project then, the BE-7 will be one of the first moon lander engines built by privately-owned companies. The company, which was created in 2000, was recently awarded a $579million contract in April for the moon lander development program. SpaceX got a contract of $135milion while Dynetics received $253million.
There are concerns from experts that the scheduled landing might be disrupted by Congress policies concerning the funding of the space program. It is also not very clear yet what the stance of President-elect Joe Biden will be about the space program.
Since the Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon in 1969, twelve astronauts have walked on the surface of the moon but no woman has made the historic event. Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the agency announced in 2019 that the first woman to make the trip will be taken from the current astronaut corps. Bridenstine explained that things didn’t look very positive for females in the 1960s but things are much better now.
Valentina Tereshkova, a female Russian astronaut made history as the first woman in space in 1963, and in 2019 two female astronauts from the United States also participated in an all-female space exploration trip.