Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin targets 2025 for first moon landing

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ SpaceX competitor, is targeting 2025 for its first uncrewed moon landing. The reveal came via John Couluris, the Senior Vice President for Lunar Permanence at Blue Origin. Couluris shared that Blue Origin is targeting the next 12 to 16 months for a moon landing on 60 Minutes this week.

Couluris said a definitive date hasn’t been set but that the team working on Blue Origin’s Pathfinder version of the Mark 1 cargo lander is aiming for 2025. If the 2025 landing is a success, then a crewed mission could be on the way shortly after.

Blue Origin’s Pathfinder Mission is a huge milestone for the space company, which continues to fall behind its biggest competitor, SpaceX. If Blue Origin’s moon landing can happen next year, it will demonstrate that the company’s design is capable of delivering three tons of payload to any location on the moon.

next-generation moon rover with astronaut on itImage source: Artsiom P / Adobe

Of course, as we all know, landing on the moon is a huge undertaking. And while we’ve seen some success with the landing of the Oddyseus lander this past February, many of the U.S.’s attempts to land on the moon have not ended well.

Blue Origin says that the company envisions building multiple cargo landers that can be delivered to lunar orbit, where they can wait until they are needed to transport cargo down to the lunar surface. Blue Origin also envisions creating a crewed version of the lander to carry NASA astronauts to and from the lunar surface.

The current Mark 1 lander is only designed for a single launch and delivery. However, anything learned from its mission will help Blue Origin design reusable landers that can be refueled in orbit. While NASA is providing some support for other Blue Origin moon missions, the Pathfinder mission is something the Bezos-owned company will handle itself.