In other lunar news, India may become the next nation to land on the moon.
It looks like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has planned to expand his firm’s delivery range.
The entrepreneur unveiled a mockup of a lunar lander built by his Blue Origin rocket company. Bezos also announced his support for the Trump administration’s renewed push to establish a lunar outpost in just five years.
The world’s richest man and Amazon.com Inc’s chief executive waved an arm and a black drape behind him dropped to reveal the two-story-tall mockup of the unmanned lander dubbed Blue Moon during an hour-long presentation at Washington’s convention center, just several blocks from the White House.
The lander will be able to deliver payloads to the lunar surface, deploy up to four smaller rovers and shoot out satellites to orbit the moon, Bezos told the audience, which included NASA officials and potential Blue Moon customers.
His media event followed Vice President Mike Pence’s March 26 announcement that NASA plans to build a space platform in lunar orbit and put American astronauts on the moon’s south pole by 2024 “by any means necessary,” four years earlier than previously planned.
“I love this,” Bezos said of Pence’s timeline. “We can help meet that timeline but only because we started three years ago. It’s time to go back to the moon, this time to stay.”
Bezos has been at odds with Trump over a number of issues related to Amazon and his newspaper The Washington Post. It will be wonderful to see Americans of differing politics coming together for a moon landing.
A former professor and a current rival seems to have motivated Bezos.
The moon has always been central to Bezos’s space-faring dreams, as well as the vision of his former professor, the late Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill. O’Neill, an iconoclast who passed away in 1992, envisioned a future with millions of humans living in space inside giant orbiting space cylinders, growing crops and harnessing the energy of the sun. The physicist theorized that the moon, a repository of raw materials and free of the atmosphere and punitive gravitational forces of the Earth, could be the staging ground to construct and economically launch such habitats.
This focus on the moon as the most effective way to start colonizing space sets Bezos apart from fellow space-faring tech billionaire Elon Musk, who sees colonizing Mars as humanity’s best “Plan B.” Bezos dubbed that kind of thinking to “planet chauvinism.” His pitch for a lunar landing even included a jab at those prefer to aim for Mars. “Round-trip on the order of years,” read one slide with an image of the red planet. “No real-time communication.”
In other lunar news, India may become next nation to land on the moon.
The moon’s south pole has never been explored from the ground, but India’s new Chandrayaan-2 mission will attempt a 1st-ever landing there, with a rover, this September.
So far, only three countries have successfully landed on the moon – the United States, the former Soviet Union and China – but that might change soon, if all goes according to plan. India is preparing to launch its second lunar mission this summer, and this time the goal is to actually land on the surface, near the moon’s south pole. If successful, India would become the fourth nation to land on the moon and the spacecraft, Chandrayaan-2, would be the first of any country to land in that region.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced the plans via Twitter on May 1, 2019. As of now, the spacecraft is scheduled to launch sometime between July 9 and July 16, 2019, from the ISRO launch facility on Sriharikota, an island off India’s southeastern coast.
We hope Chandrayaan-2 fares better in its mission than Israel’s Beresheet!DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.