Billionaire Jeff Bezos is offering NASA $2 billion to reverse course and allow his company Blue Origin, not Elon Musk's SpaceX company, to get astronauts back on the moon.
In an open letter posted to his aerospace company's website, Bezos questioned NASA's decision to give a contract to SpaceX to use its lunar lander, or Human Landing System (HLS).
"Our approach is designed to be sustainable for repeated lunar missions and, above all, to keep our astronauts safe," the Amazon founder said. "We created a 21st-century lunar landing system inspired by the well-characterized Apollo architecture — an architecture with many benefits. One of its important benefits is that it prioritizes safety. As NASA recognized, the National Team’s design offers a “comprehensive approach to aborts and contingencies [that] places a priority on crew safety throughout all mission phases.”
Bezos said he'd waive all payments for the next two fiscal years "to get the program back on track right now."
"Unlike Apollo, our approach is designed to be sustainable and to grow into permanent, affordable lunar operations," Bezos wrote.
The space agency awarded Musk's company the contract in April.