Billionaire Jeff Bezos has said his space company Blue Origin will take the first woman to the moon’s surface. NASA is nearing a decision to pick its first privately built lunar lander capable of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024. “This (BE-7) is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon,” Bezos said in a post on Instagram with a video of the engine test this week at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Blue Origin is the prime contractor in a “national team” assembled in 2019 to help build its Blue Moon lander. The team includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. Bezos’s company has vied for lucrative government contracts. In the race to build Nasa’s system to ferry humans to the moon in the next decade, it is competing with rival billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dynetics, owned by Leidos Holdings. In April, Nasa awarded the Blue Origin team a lunar lander development contract worth $579m. SpaceX received $135m to help develop its Starship system. Dynetics received $253m. Nasa has said it will pick two companies “in early March” 2021, to continue building lander prototypes for crewed missions beginning in 2024. The funds for the landing systems made available to NASA by Congress are slim and there is uncertainty over the incoming Biden administration’s views on space exploration which have threatened to delay NASA’s decision to advance the lunar lander contracts.