Amazon Founder Hoping for Celestial Celebration with Moon Delivery Service
We often hear about the rewards of reaching for the stars, but, as aeronautical history has proven (especially during the heyday stretching from 1969 through ’72), making acquaintance with the moon is certainly cause to make spirits soar. Accustomed to accomplishing ambitions plans, billionaire Jeffrey P. Bezos announced March 2 that he wants Blue Origin, his private space travel company, to send a craft to the Earth’s sole satellite by mid-2020, with the designated cargo designed to help humanity to establish “A permanently inhabited lunar settlement…” beyond the earth’s confines.
The 53-year-old offered that quote through an interview with The Washington Post, which he purchased four years ago, adding, “It is time for America to return to the Moon–this time to stay.” Prominent in the retail world for helming Amazon.com, Bezos has also gained renown for piloting Blue Origin’s ascent, with the entity’s New Shepard rocket having launched and landed unscathed five times in the last year.
While news of his brainchild’s desired date with the celestial body broke last week, Bezos proposed the plan to NASA Jan. 4. His publication secured a copy of the seven-page explanation, with President Donald Trump’s administration another courted backer, through which the entrepreneur posits that NASA should focus on fostering “incentives to the private sector to demonstrate a commercial lunar cargo delivery service.”
While the idea by Bezos, whom Forbes lists as having a net worth of $72.8 billion, might sound a bit out there, it could herald greater attention going toward another of Earth’s solar system peers. "I think that if you go to the moon first, and make the moon your home, then you can get to Mars more easily,” he said at March 2's Aviation Week awards ceremony, referring to the vast interest in exploring the Red Planet that NASA recently addressed in a Washington Post article.
His concept’s announcement comes on the heels of a declaration by founder Elon Musk that his company, SpaceX, is aiming to fly a pair of individuals on a tourist trip around the moon by next year. Blue Origin’s journey would transport only cargo–up to 10,000 pounds –with the hope of one day helping humans to take leave of their earthly zip codes.
“I’m excited about this and am ready to invest my own money alongside NASA to make it happen,” Bezos told The Washington Post, with Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander tentatively entrusted to land on the orb’s south pole. The location’s Shackleton Crater benefits from nearly continuous sunlight, a boon that will provide power through the lander’s solar arrays. A release touts the hoped-for excursion as “the first in a series of increasingly capable missions” that could include the gathering of lunar ice. As for the practicality of sustaining life on an object more than 238,000 miles away, Bezos, with an admirable track record of applying the Midas Touch to endeavors, might just strike gold again.
"A permanently inhabited lunar settlement is a difficult and worthy objective,” the tycoon said, with a nod to its commercial possibilities. “I sense a lot of people are excited about this.”