Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled an image of his lunar lander, Blue Moon, at an event in Washington, D.C., Thursday and said he was confident he could have humans back on the moon by 2024.
Blue Moon is part of Blue Origin, Bezos’ spaceflight company that is dedicated to building a road to space that will help future generations explore as well as build a future in our solar system.
The lander has been under secret development for the past three years, CNET reported. Bezos told a crowd of NASA managers, engineers, and astronauts that the lander would be able to carry up to 6.5 metric tons of equipment to the moon using a hydrogen-powered engine. It would also be able to carry a small rover that could conduct missions.
“This is an incredible vehicle. And it’s going to the moon.”
The year 2024 is significant because it is the projected goal that the Trump administration set for short-term space exploration, Bezos said. CBS reported that NASA would be announcing details of a moon plan in the upcoming days that would include estimates of how much money the agency would need in order to get people back to the moon by 2024.
Bezos said the vision for Blue Origin was to develop an infrastructure that would give people access to space travel, pointing out that the need for space exploration was essential because Earth and its resources were “finite.” Bezos also envisioned creating space colonies close to Earth as a way of space expansion.
“The solar system can support a trillion humans, and then we’d have 1,000 Mozarts and 1,000 Einsteins,” Bezos reportedly said in February.
The Blue Origins founder wants to get to the moon by 2024.https://t.co/b90W3S1iNZ— CNET News (@CNETNews) May 10, 2019
The solar system is a big place, and Bezos wants travel to the moon to be the first step in achieving space expansion. He said he loved the idea of getting back to the moon, adding that it was the right thing to do, CBS reported.
“It’s time to go back to the moon, this time to stay,” he told the crowd.
Blue Origin plans to build revenue with space tourism flights on the suborbital vehicle New Shepard. Flights will reportedly begin this year. Passengers will sit in on top of a 60-foot tall rocket and be able to look down upon the Earth from space during an 11-minute flight before returning to Earth, according to the the Blue Origins website. Blue Origins has reportedly conducted 11 successful test flights with the rocket.