Billionaire Bezos Discloses Plans for Moon Presence, Unveils Lander Mockup

Billionaire Bezos Discloses Plans for Moon Presence, Unveils Lander Mockup

Billionaire Bezos Discloses Plans for Moon Presence, Unveils Lander Mockup

Amazon entrepreneur Jeff Bezos has unveiled a mock-up of a new lunar lander spacecraft that aims to take equipment and humans to the Moon by 2024.

The lander will be capable of autonomously navigating in space and can carry up to four large rovers simultaneously, The Verge quoted Bezos as saying. Last year, Blue Origin received $13 million from NASA to work on technologies needed for a moon lander.

In the short term, that includes a lunar lander, Blue Moon, a sleek vehicle that became visible as a curtain in front was pulled away. With Blue Moon and other moon transportation options, humans might have the ability to establish habitats in space.

Additionally, using hydrogen fuel cells, the vehicle would provide "kilowatts of power" to its payloads and allow for long missions that could last through the lunar night.

At an invite-only press event in Washington, D.C., Bezos announced a massive vision for the future in which "Earth is zoned residential and light industry", with heavy industry and mining moving to space.

The vehicle has been under development for the past three years, he said. The space agency recently updated its space-exploration plans at the behest of Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump. If all goes according to plan, the company will test fire the rocket for the first time this summer.

During the company's unveiling event today, Bezos praised Vice President Pence's previously announced goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which Trump has frequently targeted in his broadsides against the news media.

NASA has set its sights on the moon's south pole, a region believed to hold enough recoverable ice water for use in synthesizing additional rocket fuel as well as for drinking water to sustain astronauts.

The first successful moon landing was by the Soviet Union in 1966 with Luna 9, followed by the US four months later.

A site near the south pole of the Moon was named after Shackleton - a crater with rims that are exposed to nearly continual sunlight. The reusable rocket is slated to begin launching from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral in 2021.

His vision is shared by competing billionaire-backed private space ventures like Elon Musk's SpaceX and aerospace incumbents like United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin.

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