Jeff Bezos Offers NASA Billions To Take Over Its Lunar Landing Contract
Jeff Bezos has touched the stars. Now, he wants to spend his billions on blasting off to the moon.
Coming after Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic voyage to the edge of space – but below the Kármán line – the Amazon founder recently took his brother Mark, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen and 82-year-old Wally Funk on a historic trip beyond our atmosphere.
As the commercial space travel race continues, with future flights planned and movies set to film on the International Space Station, Bezos is ready to drop some serious cash on his own lunar missions.
In exchange for a contract to develop and launch a ‘pathfinder mission to low-Earth orbit of the lunar descent element to further retire development and schedule risks’ as well as ‘performing a precursor uncrewed landing mission prior to risking any astronauts to the Moon’, Bezos has offered to waive all of NASA payments up to $2 billion for the next two years.
‘I believe this mission is important. I am honoured to offer these contributions and am grateful to be in a financial position to be able to do so. NASA veered from its original dual-source acquisition strategy due to perceived near-term budgetary issues, and this offer removes that obstacle,’ Bezos wrote.
‘If NASA has different ideas about what would best facilitate getting back to true competition now, we are ready and willing to discuss them,’ he added.
It’s unclear whether NASA has discussed the offer. Despite going to space, neither Branson nor Bezos are officially considered astronauts yet.
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