Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, sent a letter to NASA Secretary Nelson on the 26th of a spacecraft that will land astronauts on the moon. It has announced that it will bear NASA’s costs of up to $ 2 billion if it outsources production to Blue Origin, a space development venture led by Mr. Bezos.
NASA announced in April that it would outsource the construction of a spacecraft to carry astronauts to the surface of the moon to Elon Musk’s SpaceX company in the “Artemis program” of manned lunar flight. A $ 2.9 billion contract.
Blue Origin and Dynetics, a defense company, also made a name for themselves, but were not selected. Blue Origin has teamed up with US defense giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper.
In a letter to Secretary Nelson, Bezos proposed that Blue Origin waive up to $ 2 billion in development costs from NASA over multiple fiscal years, including the current fiscal year. The company will also carry out its own technology demonstration mission in orbit at its own expense. In return, he said he would conclude a fixed-amount contract for spacecraft construction and bear the excess development costs.
Bezos pointed out that NASA deviated from the original plan to outsource the production of spacecraft to the two companies due to short-term budget constraints, and said that his proposal would eliminate the budget problem.
“Without competition, NASA’s ambitions for short-term and long-term lunar exploration will be delayed, resulting in higher costs and no national interest,” he said.
A NASA spokeswoman is aware of Mr. Bezos’ letter, but Blue Origin has given the U.S. government an unfair advantage over SpaceX’s approval of SpaceX’s bid price revisions over the production of a lunar lander. He declined to comment further because he was protesting against the Institute of Audit (GAO).
GAO is expected to make a decision by early August, but industry sources say Blue Origin is unlikely to overturn the decision so far.
A SpaceX spokeswoman has not responded to requests for comment.
Blue Origin launched the rocket “New Shepard” developed in-house in Texas on the 20th, and succeeded in the first manned flight. Four people, including Mr. Bezos, boarded the spacecraft.
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