Jeff Bezos has offered to fund US$ 2 billion (more than R$ 10 3 billion of the costs of NASA, the American space agency, in exchange for participate in the contract to build a landing vehicle on the Moon.
In April, NASA awarded the US$2.9 billion contract to Elon Musk, rejecting the original offer from the company Blue Origin, of Bezos. The two billionaire entrepreneurs competed to build the landing system that will carry the astronauts to the lunar surface at 2024.
The American space agency could only give the contract to one company , not two, for not having enough budget. NASA received only $850 million of the $3.3 billion it asked the US Congress to build the moon landing platform.
In a letter to NASA administrator Bill Nelson, released Monday (17), Bezos wrote: “Blue Origin will complete the budget that the Human Landing System (HLS) lacks. ), by suspending all receipts in the current government fiscal year and the next, making a total of $2 billion, to ensure the program gets back on track.”
“This offer is not a postponement (of receipt of the $2 billion contract), but rather a permanent suspension of these payments.” Bezos flew into space with his brother Mark last week on his New Shepard aircraft’s first tourist spaceflight. admitted that the space agency did not have enough funding to select two companies to participate in the project.
NASA also cited Elon Musk’s SpaceX company’s repertoire of orbital missions as a factor in selecting it for the construction of the moon landing system. Cost also played a role in the decision: SpaceX offered to do the work for a lower fee than Blue Origin.
With that, the cylinder Starship would carry NASA astronauts for the first lunar surface mission since Apollo 17 in 1972. Alabama defense firm Dynetics was also vying for the contract.
Bezos had partnered with aerospace giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper at the show to participate in this crucial phase of the NASA’s Human Landing.
Their vehicle was called the Blue Moon, and it looks like a more robust version of the Lunar Module, which carried Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon’s surface 1969.
In his letter, Bezos emphasizes Blue Moon’s trustworthy heritage: “We created a lunar landing system of the century 17 inspired by the Apollo architecture is an architecture with many benefits. One of the most important of them is safety.”
Elon Musk’s Starship dares in space aircraft design, using a radical strategy for landing and incorporating innovative methane gas engines. Bezos also used his letter to emphasize Blue Origin’s use of hydrogen fuel, which aligns with NASA’s long-standing interests in refueling space aircraft with frozen water taken from the Moon.
Water it can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen to power rocket engines.
In the company’s April selection announcement, SpaceX received an “acceptable” rating in technical terms and “excellent” in management. Blue Origin also received an “acceptable” rating in its technical competences, but the rating for management was “very good”, therefore lower than SpaceX.
After losing to Elon Musk’s company, Blue Origin has filed a complaint with the US Government Accounting Office, alleging that NASA wrongfully “modified the goalposts at the last minute” in order to secure the SpaceX contract.
The appeal , along with another presented by Dynetics, is still awaiting evaluation, but part of the space community believes the chance of a reversal of the decision is unlikely.