Home / Science / Newt Gingrich proposes a $ 2 billion prize for a human Moon Lander

Newt Gingrich proposes a $ 2 billion prize for a human Moon Lander

Enlarge / Blue Origin has been proposed as a "Blue Moon"

During the 2020 campaign speeches, President Donald Trump regularly touches on the theme of commercial space. Trump often says he likes Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and other billionaires who are investing in aerospace are building reusable rockets and paying.

Now, some advisers are quietly urging the president to take his enthusiasm for commercial space and entrepreneurs a step further-creating a prize for whoever lands humans on the moon. The effort, led by former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, was first reported by Politico. Musk or Bezos.

NASA, of course, has its own Moon plan named the Artemis Program. Under this plan, the space agency would use its own rocket and spacecraft (Orion) as vehicles to put two humans on the lunar surface by 2024. NASA has not cost, but the price tag is likely to be $ 6 billion to $ 8 billion a year, on top of the agency's existing budget.

The $ 2 billion contest would not be submitted to the Artemis Program, said University of Southern California professor Greg Autry, who served on Trump's NASA transition team in 201

7. Autry helped conceive the contest and would have a back-up plan. In an interview with Ars, that said, NASA is not interested in funding this, then another US agency (such as the Department of Commerce) might be.

Incentive for investment

Although $ 2 billion is not enough money for either Musk's SpaceX or Bezos' Blue Origin to land humans on the Moon, it represents a significant start. (Prof. Autry has $ 5 billion, with $ 3 billion going to the first company to reach the Moon, while $ 2 billion serves as a back-up prize.) More importantly, such a prize would be narrower Potential investors in SpaceX and Blue Origin.

NASA's traditional, linear approach toward a 2024 landing.

Independently of NASA, with private funding, both companies are working on technology , SpaceX is building a large spacecraft, starship, and a super heavy rocket. And Blue Origin has its New Glenn rocket and Blue Moon lander vehicles. NASA's intermediate goal of a Moon landing while freeing.

NASA's Intermediate Goal of a Moon Landing While Freeing up the space to pivot to his preferred destination, Mars. "Some day soon, American astronauts plans to launch the Stars and Stripes on the surface of Mars," Trump said recently during a speech that ignored the Moon.

Of course, Congress must fund them. NASA's existing programs, which are carefully divvied by Congress members across their districts and among favored contractors.

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