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Pentagon Mission Will Include Test of Blue Origin’s ‘Space Truck’

An illustration of Blue Ring in orbit.
Illustration: Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos’ space venture is ready to test its Blue Ring orbital platform, which could become a pivotal pitstop for missions journeying to the Moon and beyond.

Blue Origin is set to launch its Blue Ring as part of the DarkSky-1 (DS-1) mission, which is sponsored by the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit, the company announced on Tuesday. The exact launch date has not been specified, nor has the launch provider been announced.

“The lessons learned from this DS-1 mission will provide a leap forward for Blue Ring and its ability to provide greater access to multiple orbits, bringing us closer to our vision of millions of people living and working in space for the benefit of Earth,” Paul Ebertz, senior vice president of Blue Origin’s In-Space Systems, said in a statement.

Related article: Blue Origin Announces Next-Gen Space Tug for In-Space Deliveries

Blue Ring is designed to provide “end-to-end services that span hosting, transportation, refueling, data relay, and logistics, including an ‘in-space’ cloud computing capability,” according to Blue Origin. It will serve both commercial and government customers, and can host payloads that weigh up to 6,600 pounds (3,000 kilograms).

Bezos’ company seems to finally be getting it together. Blue Origin recently announced that it’s planning an uncrewed landing on the Moon in 2025 using a prototype version of its Blue Moon Mark 1 (MK1) cargo lander, and possibly beating SpaceX to the lunar surface. The New Glenn rocket, Blue Origin’s long-anticipated launch vehicle that was supposed to liftoff in 2020, is also showing signs of progress, with the company moving closer to its debut perhaps later this year. The company also recently hired former Amazon exec David Limp, who replaced Bob Smith as CEO.

For more spaceflight in your life, follow us on X and bookmark Gizmodo’s dedicated Spaceflight page.

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