Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin fires up moon landing engine in successful first test

It's sound and fury signifying a step toward landing on the lunar surface.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Blue Origin hopes to take its Blue Moon lander all the way to the lunar surface.

Ben Rubin/CNET

Jeff Bezos has already conquered Earth with Amazon. Now he's looking to the moon with his Blue Origin spaceflight company. Its BE-7 engine, designed to shepherd a lander to the lunar surface, just passed its first hot-fire test.

Bezos posted a video of the test, which took place at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, to Twitter late on Wednesday. 

"Data looks great and hardware is in perfect condition. Test went full planned duration – 35 seconds," Bezos wrote. 

The Amazon CEO unveiled the new Blue Origin lunar lander, named Blue Moon, in early May after years of development. Blue Origin is one of 11 companies working with NASA to develop lunar lander prototypes for the Artemis moon program.

Bezos is following in the footsteps of SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who also likes to post engine test footage on Twitter. It's a good way for space fans to keep tabs on the development of new engine and rocket technologies.

A large version of the Blue Moon lander is meant to carry astronauts to the lunar surface, a landmark Blue Origin hopes to achieve by 2024. But first, it needs to prove the lander's engine is up to the task. The successful hot fire is a step in the right direction.

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