WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – NASA Administrator Bill Nelson revealed on Friday that Blue Origin, the aerospace company owned by Jeff Bezos, has been selected as the second company to develop a moon lander for the highly anticipated Artemis V mission to the Moon in 2029.

“The great adventure of humankind pressing out into the cosmos is here,” Nelson said. “Our partnership will only add to this golden age of human space flight.”

NASA has awarded Blue Origin a $3.4 billion contract as part of a $7 billion project to construct the moon lander for the fifth Artemis mission.

“Blue Origin is contributing well north of $3.4 billion as part of this effort,” Blue Origin Vice President John Couluris said.

This collaboration follows a similar partnership between NASA and SpaceX, which was awarded a contract in 2021 to provide the vehicle for the first and second scheduled Moon landings. NASA views the involvement of multiple partners as a means to enhance competition and ensure regular lunar landings.

“That’s better, and it means that you have reliability, you have backups,” Nelson said.

According to NASA, the spacecraft will dock into “Gateway,” a planned space station that will orbit around the Moon. This space station will serve as a critical hub which James Free, exploration systems development associate administrator, said will eventually “allow our crews eventually to stay up to 30 days as we build up the infrastructure.”

The establishment of Gateway will not only support lunar missions, but also lay the foundation for ambitious endeavors beyond the Moon.

“We are making an additional investment in the infrastructure,” Nelson said, “that will pave the way to land the first humans on Mars.”