Today at an intimate event in Washington D.C., Jeff Bezos took the wraps off some grand space plans. But that future, which includes trips to the lunar surface, isn’t much without the gear to get it there.
Among the more impressive unveils was Blue Moon, a new lunar lander. Bezos unveiled the vehicle, which was hidden behind a curtain for much of the event. “This is an incredible vehicle,” he told the crowd, “and it’s going to the moon.” Powered by liquid hydrogen, the lander has an on-board system capable of navigating in space. It also utilizes gigabit internet to communicate back to Earth using a laser.
Blue Moon features an on-board LIDAR system capable of mapping lunar terrain, in order to choose the right landing site. According to Bezos, the system using existing maps of the moons surface to determine where to navigate relative to known landmarks. The 3.6 metric ton vehicle features landing gear that’s stowed in an upward configuration and capable of landing on inclines up to 15 degrees.