After his recent trip into space, billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos said he would offer NASA up to $2,000 million if the US space agency awarded his company Blue Origin a contract to develop a spacecraft to take astronauts to the moon.
In April, NASA awarded SpaceX – from its millionaire rival Elon Musk – a contract worth 2.9 billion euros to build a spacecraft to transport astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2024. At the time, proposals from Blue Origin were rejected. For Dynetics Corporation. NASA cited its own lack of funding, SpaceX’s record of orbital missions and other factors to justify the decision “which represents the best value to the government.” [dos Estados Unidos]said Kathy Luders, Administrator of NASA.
In a letter recently sent to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Jeff Bezos said Blue Origin will waive payments in the current fiscal year and beyond, which are worth up to $2,000 million. He also said he would pay for an orbital mission to test his company’s technology. In return, Blue Origin accepts a fixed-price contract in addition to covering the additional cost of developing the system, Say Jeff Bezos.
“NASA has changed its original acquisition strategy at two suppliers due to short-term budget issues, and this offer removes that hurdle,” the millionaire wrote. “Without competition, NASA’s short- and long-term lunar ambitions will be delayed, costlier and will not serve national interests.”
A NASA spokesperson said the agency is aware of Jeff Bezos’ message but does not want to comment further at this time. He also cited Blue Origin’s protest to the Government Accountability Office (the agency that oversees Congress on the legality of how public money is spent), in which he accuses NASA of giving SpaceX an unfair advantage. The Government Accountability Office’s decision on this protest is expected to be announced in early August, but industry sources say the possibility of a turnaround is unlikely. No SpaceX spokesperson has commented on this matter.
Before selecting SpaceX, NASA solicited proposals for a spacecraft that would carry astronauts to the lunar surface through the Artemis program — which aims to bring humans to the moon for the first time since 1972. The Blue Origin lunar module is called “Blue Moon.” Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, the world’s first and third richest man, respectively, according to the magazine Forbes.
Since a week, Jeff Bezos becomes the second millionaire to go to the gates of space. In about ten minutes, the owner of Blue Origin and three other passengers have gone to the edges of space on a fully automated flight (everything is controlled from Earth). In addition to Jeff Bezos, the “crew” included his brother Mark, 18-year-old Dutchman Oliver Daemen, and 82-year-old former American driver Wally Funk. A few days ago, British businessman Richard Branson He also went to the gates of space for a flight of about an hour, aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
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