The space exploratory focus is slowly shifting back to the moon, and now Jeff Bezos' space firm Blue Origin is making a pitch to be a key player in the process. Put simply: Blue Origin wants to help colonize the moon.
The Washington Post reports Blue Origin has generated a white paper that's been passed on to President Trump's administration, as well as NASA leadership, urging the space agency to create new incentives and a program framework for a long-term plan to eventually establish a permanent lunar base.
Considering Bezos is also the founder of Amazon, the plan might sound familiar: Blue Origin wants to develop a spacecraft and lander, which will be used to ship supplies (habitats, supplies, cargo, etc.) to the moon in preparation for an eventual team of astronauts. It's basically Amazon Prime on the moon.
Blue Origin has mapped out a site within a crater at the south pole where there is water nearby and adequate sunlight for solar energy production as the potential site. Blue Origin hopes to ramp up deliveries by the mid-2020s. Where fellow private space firm SpaceX has already been working with NASA for a while, this marks Blue Origin's most obvious push to partner with the space agency for an initiative of this scope. If a partnership comes together, Bezos said he believes the first unmanned mission could take place as early as 2020.
No word yet on if NASA will get a partnership program off the ground, though the Trump administration has been far more open to the idea of a moon mission than former President Obama — so it stands to reason this pitch could certainly find an audience. If it does, we could have Blue Origin setting the stage for a moon base while SpaceX is planning its Mars mission.
Needless to say: It's an exciting time to be a space geek.
(via The Washington Post)