Amazon founder Jeff Bezos showcased a mock-up of a new lunar lander spacecraft on Thursday and said it will be able to take equipment and humans to the moon by 2024, BBC reported. The spacecraft was built by his Blue Origin rocket company and is called Blue Moon.
“It’s time to go back to the moon, this time to stay,” said Bezos. The founder and chief executive officer described his space dreams where he envisions the set up of an “incredible civilisation”.
“We are going to build a road to space,” The New York Times quoted Bezos as saying. “And then amazing things will happen.” The Blue Moon is an unmanned, reusable spacecraft that will carry scientific instruments, satellites, and rovers.
The Blue Moon vehicle will feature a new rocket engine called BE-7, which can blast 10,000lb (4,535 kg) of thrust. The vehicle comes with enough fuel to travel from Earth to the moon and can drop off payloads to the lunar surface, send satellites to orbit the moon, and deploy upto four self-driving rovers.
The primary aim of the spacecraft is to land on the south pole of the moon and break down the ice craters that have been found there to produce hydrogen. This could help it synthesize fuel required for further missions in space, and provide drinking water for the astronauts, Reuters reported.
Bezos’ announcement comes around two months before the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. On March 26, United States Vice President Mike Pence announced that the country wanted to put humans on the moon by 2024.
The Amazon founder said he wanted to improve access to the moon to realise his vision of a future that can allow people to live and work in space.