With NASA interested again in returning to the moon, several startups have been looking to benefit from that, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his space company, Blue Origin.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Blue Origin has handed out a seven-page white paper to the leadership at NASA as well as President Trump’s transition team about its interest in creating a lunar spacecraft for the moon. The spacecraft would be able to land near a crater at the south pole where water is located and it is close to continuous sunlight. In the proposal, the company stated that it wants NASA to support a shipment service for the moon in which the lunar spacecraft could send cargo and habitats to the moon by the middle of 2020 and help create future human settlements on the moon.
“It is time for America to return to the Moon — this time to stay,” Bezos said in response to emailed questions from The Washington Post. “A permanently inhabited lunar settlement is a difficult and worthy objective. I sense a lot of people are excited about this.”
The report noted Blue Origin’s proposal, which came out on January 4 2017, is focused less on sending humans to the moon and instead on sending cargo missions to deliver necessary equipment to eventually create human colonies there. The move on the part of Blue Origin comes amid ambitious plans by SpaceX and its founder, Elon Musk. According to the report, Musk said this week SpaceX plans to fly two private citizens around the moon in 2018. SpaceX didn’t name whom the two private citizens are. NASA hasn’t been reluctant to work with the private sector in the past, contracting companies to fly supplies and astronauts to the International Space Station and providing technical expertise to SpaceX’s aim to fly unmanned spaceships to Mars by 2020, noted the report.