Bezos' Blue Origin teams with Lockheed on returning Americans to moon

Jeff Bezos' private space company, Blue Origin, has chosen government contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper as collaborators on a vehicle capable of landing Americans on the moon by 2024.

The mission is a key step in President Trump's plan to reassert U.S. dominance in space, testing technology that will eventually be used to take astronauts as far as Mars.

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos discusses the New Shepard rocket booster at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. REUTERS/Isaiah J. Downing

"We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team," said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, whose company has been working on reusable rockets and is the prime contractor on the project. "Combining our partners' heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA" to support the Artemis moon-landing program.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LMT LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP. 446.21 -4.39 -0.97%
NOC NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP. 476.61 -3.70 -0.77%

As of May, Blue Origin's "New Shepard" rocket had flown to space "a total of 11 times, with two of the boosters completing a round trip five times each, according to a company spokesperson.

The company intends to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon with four rovers aboard, Bezos announced earlier this year. He wants Blue Origin to be the "next generation" of space companies.

Artemis, in Greek mythology, was the goddess of the moon and the sister of Apollo, the god whose name was adopted for the NASA missions that took humans to the moon in the 1960s and '70s. American astronauts haven't visited the satellite since 1972.

FOX Business' James Leggate contributed to this report.