Published: Fri, May 10, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Jeff Bezos says Blue Origin will land humans on moon by 2024

Jeff Bezos says Blue Origin will land humans on moon by 2024

Jeff Bezos has unveiled 'Blue Moon, ' the lunar lander from private space company Blue Origin.

Clue No. 2: Late a year ago, Bezos revealed his space company is designing a large lunar lander called Blue Moon. (It's beginning engine tests this year.) Given the huge delays and cost overruns of NASA's official moon-mission rocket, the Boeing-lead Space Launch System, the US government may welcome a deus ex machina from startups like Blue Origin, especailly given the Trump Aministiration's wildly ambitous goal to return humans to the Moon by 2024.

The announcement for the usually secretive space company came with all the glitz of an Apple product launch in a darkened convention ballroom bedazzled with shimmering stars on its walls. "It's time to go back to the moon, this time to stay".

Mr. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, walked off the stage without providing details, including launch dates, customers and the plan for humans on his rockets.

Blue Origin spokeswoman Caitlin Dietrich did not respond to requests for comment.

It can deliver payloads to the lunar surface, deploy up to four self-driving rovers, and launch satellites to orbit the Moon.

Blue Origin has been working on Blue Moon since at least 2017.

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A low-priced approach to landing on the moon is risky; SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit, attempted to land on the moon in April, but crashed. It was known that Blue Origins had lunar ambitions-it was recently reported that it had paid NASA $50,000 for detailed plans for previous lunar landers, as well as NASA's observations and technical knowledge gained since those first missions.

Last year, SpaceX announced that a Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, had signed up for a trip that would go past the moon without landing on it, and swing back to Earth.

China has landed a rover on the moon's far side.

Clue No 3: Reuters' Joey Roulette is reporting the announcement will reveal a plan to establish a permanent moon base with the support of NASA. And the Israeli nonprofit said it will give it a second shot.

NASA has set its sights on the moon's south pole, a region believed to hold enough recoverable ice water for use in synthesizing additional rocket fuel as well as for drinking water to sustain astronauts.

The company said during its latest test - the 11th - that the first flights carrying people will occur later this year. The engine will be available for sale to other companies for use in in-space and lander applications. "I never expected to have the resources to start a space company", he said. The new engine is the reason, she said, "it's for real".

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