Blue Origin Loses Prime Expertise to Opponents Whereas Moon Lander Struggle Continues

Jeff Bezos, proprietor of Blue Origin, introduces a brand new lunar touchdown module known as Blue Moon throughout an occasion on the Washington Conference Middle, Could 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Pictures

Whereas Blue Origin’s struggle to win NASA’s moon lander contract continues, the Jeff Bezos-led area firm is shedding its prime expertise to rivals giant and small.

On Tuesday, Texas startup Firefly Aerospace introduced that it has employed Blue Origin engineer Lauren Lyon as the corporate’s chief working officer.

Lyon was a lead programs engineer on Blue Origin’s Superior Ideas workforce, serving to the corporate to develop new product concepts and use circumstances and convey them into actuality. Earlier than becoming a member of Blue Origin, Lyon was an engineer at SpaceX, holding management roles on the Dragon, Falcon 9, and Starlink applications. She was a daily presence on SpaceX’s webcasts, together with the Demo-2 business crew take a look at flight in Could 2020.

Firefly is within the early stage creating a small rocket known as Alpha. The corporate is exploring a enterprise mannequin of promoting Alpha’s engines to different prospects. As COO, Lyons will “lead the efforts in scaling the corporate’s infrastructure, manufacturing and operations as Firefly strikes into business manufacturing,” Firefly mentioned in a social media put up.

Lyon’s departure got here only a day after one other prime Blue Origin engineer jumped ship. Nitin Arora, a mission structure and integration lead on Blue Origin’s Human Touchdown System (HLS) Nationwide workforce, introduced on his LinkedIn web page Monday that he’d left the corporate to affix SpaceX.

Arora joined Blue Origin in 2018 from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to work on the corporate’s “Blue Moon” lunar lander. The Blue Moon workforce was rebranded as HLS Nationwide workforce after Blue Origin utilized for NASA’s HLS contract.

Blue Origin hasn’t responded to an Observer inquiry about Lyon and Arora’s departure. The corporate is at present hiring for Lyon’s substitute. In a job posting on the lookout for an “Superior Ideas Techniques Engineer-Superior Improvement Applications,” Blue Origin describes the group as “a small, passionate, and completed workforce of specialists.”