WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos will present plans for moon missions on Thursday tailored to the US government's renewed push to create a lunar outpost within just five years.
FILE PHOTO: Founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, speaking on April 5, 2017 about the New Shepard Rocket Amplifiers and Crew Capsule Model before the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA , REUTERS / Isaiah J. Downing
Bezos, the richest man in the world and Chief Executive of Amazon.com, is scheduled to host a rare media event at 16:00 EDT (2000 GMT) in Washington to "update on our progress deliver and share our vision of going into space to help Earth ".
The spokeswoman for Blue Origin, Caitlin Dietrich, did not respond to a request for comment.
Blue Origin of Kent, Washington, has just criticized his lunar strategy. The people who are familiar with the company's plans and knowledgeable on the condition of anonymity said Bezos is expected to present details of lunar missions and a lunar aircraft developing the company. Blue has also discussed a human outpost on the moon.
US. Vice President Mike Pence called on NASA in March to build a space platform in lunar orbit and set American astronauts "by all means" to the South Pole of the Moon by 2024, four years ahead of schedule. Bezos is probably ready to design his strategy to adapt to this timetable to get money from the US space agency, one of the people said.
An industry source said the company has worked to refine and accelerate its strategy, according to Pence's comments.
Last month, the company dropped a reference to the announcement with a Twitter post from a photo of the ship used by explorer Ernest Shackleton on an expedition to Antarctica – a possible indication of a crater at the South Pole of the Antarctic Moon sharing the man's name.
Bezos, who has talked about his broader vision of enabling a future in which millions of people live and work in space, has set itself the task of getting closer to commercialization.
However, his vision is shared by other multi-billion dollar private space companies such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and established airlines such as the United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin.
Blue Origin is developing its new Shepard rocket for short space tourism trips and a heavy launch rocket called New Glenn for satellite launch contracts. The company intends to deliver its New Glenn missile by 2021. Later this year, people will be launched on a suborbital flight on the rocket capsule New Shepard.
Reporting by Joey Roulette in Washington and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing: Will Dunham