Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, renewed his offer to the US Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) regarding the construction of the first commercial lunar lander.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is trying again to get a contract, after his space company, Blue Origin, lost in the bidding process to build NASA’s first commercial lunar lander.
In an open letter to NASA President Bill Nelson published on Monday, Bezos offered Blue Origin to cover costs of up to $2 billion this year and in the next two years to develop and produce a lunar lander if the company is allowed to compete again against SpaceX. Owned by billionaire Elon Musk.
NASA did not give any public response.
The agency awarded SpaceX a contract to develop the first commercial lander to transport astronauts to the Moon in the bidding process last April, instead of Blue Origin.
The contract is worth about $3 billion and is part of NASA’s Artemis program.
Since the decision was made, Blue Origin has protested against him several times. The New Shepard spacecraft of Blue Origin took Bezos on a short trip into space last week.
NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, is a stepping stone to the first human mission to Mars.
Earlier this week, the US authorities placed new restrictions on the definition of the “astronaut” profession, in a move that could deprive Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson of the title.
The new rules of the Federal Aviation Authority in the United States stipulate that the astronaut is the person who plays a role in the framework of the work of the crew of the flight into space, and contributes to achieving safety and security during the flight.
These new additions to this definition do not apply to Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson from the point of view of the US administration.
These are the first modifications to the Wings program for awarding the FAA astronaut title and badge, which began in 2004.
The administration requires that a commercial astronaut or space traveler fly 80 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, which Bezos and Branson have already achieved.
But regardless of flight altitude, the new aviation rules say prospective astronauts must have a record that includes “necessary activities related to the general safety and security in flight, or activities that contributed to the safety and security of a passenger flight into space”.
It is up to the Federal Authority to determine those activities that are provided for by the new amendments in the rules.
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