When the first woman travels to the moon, she will be transported in a launch vehicle created by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company.
On Friday, Bezos shared a video of the vehicle’s engine pumping out a steady stream of flames during testing. The trial run took place at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
“This is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon. The BE-7 is a high-performance, additively manufactured liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen lunar landing engine with 10,000 lbf of thrust — deep throttling down to 2,000 lbf for a precise landing on the moon,” Bezos captioned the post.
“The engine will power @BlueOrigin’s National Team HLS lunar lander. Video is from a test this week at @NASA Marshall in Huntsville, Alabama — bringing cumulative test time on the program to 1,245 seconds. #Artemis #GradatimFerociter.”
A total of 12 men have walked on the moon. In 2019, Jim Bridenstine, an administrator at NASA, announced a woman would be tapped to complete a lunar landing for the first time.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 to provide low-cost access to space using reusable launch vehicles.
Blue Origin is currently competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Leidos Holdings Inc. owned Dynetics to win the contract to build the next human lunar landing system to transport humans to the moon.
NASA is expected to pick two of three companies “in early March” 2021 to continue building their lander prototypes for trips to the moon, starting as early as 2024, Yahoo! Entertainment reports.
However, due to the uncertainty about the importance the incoming Biden administration will place on space travel, NASA’s lunar lander contracts could be delayed.