Aerospace company Blue Origin is likely to start delivering packages to the moon by 2020, its founder Jeff Bezos told The Washington Post on Thursday. The shipment service will be developed along the lines of the subscription-based Amazon Prime, which is also run by Bezos.
Bezos has sent a detailed proposal to Nasa and United States President Donald Trump’s team on his plans. “It is time for America to return to the Moon — this time to stay,” he told newspaper.
Blue Origin is believed to have proposed the development of a lunar spacecraft that will land on the moon’s south pole region. It will be used to carry as much as 10,000 pounds of experimental gear, cargo as well as people to the satellite. It could also be used to conduct experiments or deploy rovers, the company claims. A robotic arm attached to the lander will be deployed to examine the lunar surface with an array of instruments.
Bezos said he has asked NASA to develop “incentives in the private sector to demonstrate a commercial lunar cargo delivery service” by 2020. However, the Amazon chief may invest his own money to make this project viable.
This comes at a time when Elon Musk’s SpaceX is gearing up to send two private citizens around the moon late next year. In a statement on its website recently, the company had said it had been approached by two individuals, who had already paid a “significant deposit” to do a moon mission.
SpaceX will send the individuals and their teams on its Crew Dragon spacecraft with the Falcon Heavy rocket. While Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has not issued details on the cost of the mission, he said it would be “comparable” to the cost of a crewed mission to the International Space Station.