Bob Smith on Blue Origin’s Lunar Lander Program, Rocket Engine Factory in Alabama

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith told CNBC in an interview published Tuesday about the company’s partnership with three other companies to build a landing system that will bring astronauts to the moon.

Blue Origin teamed up with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper in October to develop an integrated landing system to transport astronauts to the lunar surface as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

Smith also cited the company’s Blue Moon lunar lander, which the company built “for the purposes of sustained lunar exploration and resource exploitation,” and the engine manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Ala. He said the company plans to open the Huntsville factory in the coming first quarter and start producing 40 engines a year by 2022 and 2023.

Blue Origin is building the BE-4 engine for its orbital rocket New Glenn and United Launch Alliance’s rocket and Smith said the partnership with ULA provides the company an opportunity to learn.

When asked about client opportunities for New Glenn in the next two years, Smith noted that Blue Origin plans to expand its partnership with the U.S. Air Force and the intelligence community.

“But we can also think about the intelligence community as well — some of the larger payloads are very well suited for our larger vehicle, as well as some of these large constellations that are being proposed and going to be launched,” he added.

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