Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin-led Human Landing System (HLS) National Team just delivered an engineering mockup of a crew lunar lander vehicle to the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (SVMF) at NASA Johnson Space Center’s (JSC) Building 9. It consists of the Ascent Element (AE) and Descent Element (DE) and stands at more than 40 feet. This update to Apollo’s Lunar Module (LM) will be used to validate the National Team’s approaches for getting crew, equipment, supplies, and samples off and on the vehicle. Read more for a video and additional information.
In the Ascent Element, you’ll find avionics, software, life support hardware, crew interfaces, and mission operations from Lockheed Martin’s human-rated, deep-space Orion vehicle that will fly on the Artemis I and II missions. The Transfer Element boasts a propulsive stage that starts the lander on its descent trajectory from lunar orbit and is based on Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus vehicle, which provides logistics resupply to the International Space Station.
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Testing this engineering mockup for crew interaction is a step toward making this historic mission real. The learning we get from full-scale mockups can’t be done any other way. Benefitting from NASA’s expertise and feedback at this early stage allows us to develop a safe commercial system that meets the agency’s needs,” said Brent Sherwood, vice president of Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin.