Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Offers NASA Billions for Lunar Mission Contract
On Monday, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, wrote NASA a letter proposing billions of dollars to fund his own contract for a moon mission.
“Blue Origin is committed to constructing a future where millions of people live and work in space to benefit the Earth,” Bezos wrote in a letter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson. We are certain that, in order to progress America’s space destiny, NASA must now return to the Moon promptly and confidently… This is why Blue Origin agreed to construct a Human Landing System in response to NASA’s urgent request.”
The letter went on to detail the advantages of Blue Origin’s Human Landing System (HLS), such as its capacity to launch “on many launch vehicles, including Falcon Heavy, SLS, Vulcan, and New Glenn,” according to the letter.
Despite the benefits of Blue Origin’s HLS, Bezos claimed in his letter that NASA’s Source Selection Official “veered from the Agency’s oft-stated procurement policy,” awarding the contract for future lunar trips to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
NASA said in May that it had given SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to transport astronauts to the Moon’s surface.
According to the Washington Post, NASA had planned to pick three private space exploration companies, with two of them being chosen to create a Human Landing System.
NASA chose SpaceX because “NASA’s current fiscal year budget did not support even a single [contract]award,” according to a NASA memo acquired by the Post, after SpaceX altered its payment timeline to fit “within NASA’s present budget.”
NASA’s decision to give the lunar contract to SpaceX, according to Bezos, “broke the mold of NASA’s successful commercial space programs by putting an end to meaningful competition for years to come.”
“Rather of relying on a single source, NASA should return to its original competitive policy. In the letter, Bezos stated that “competition will prevent any single source from having insurmountable sway over NASA.”
While SpaceX was given the option to adjust its contract pricing, the Amazon founder stated that Blue Origin was not given the same opportunity, but that “it is not too late to remedy.”
Blue Origin, according to Bezos, “will bridge the HLS.” This is a condensed version of the information.