Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin have a plan for a moon mission, too

Elon Musk wants to deliver two tourists to the moon for a visit? Big deal. Jeff Bezos is planning to make Amazon-style deliveries to the moon in the hopes of helping people live there.

The two (friendly?) rivals are at it again, making news about their perhaps not-so-pie-in-the-sky space endeavors in the same week. On the heels of Musk announcing that one of his companies, SpaceX, plans to bring two tourists to the moon next year, Bezos has confirmed that one of his companies, Blue Origin, wants to create a delivery service to the moon that will supposedly help establish future human settlement there.

“It is time for America to return to the Moon — this time to stay,” Bezos said in response to the Washington Post, another one of his companies, which got a hold of a white paper that’s being circulated among NASA leadership and Donald Trump’s administration.

The Blue Origin proposal involves delivering cargo to the moon, equipment that humans could use to establish a colony there, according to the Post. The newspaper also reports that the key to this plan is a partnership between Blue Origin — which has been funded mostly by Bezos — and NASA.

It remains to be seen whether the new presidential administration will give priority to space-program spending. Trump made a one-sentence mention of space during his speech to Congress this week. (“American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream,” he said.) But SpaceNews reminds us that the administration’s budget proposal could result in cuts to NASA.

NASA said this week that it would work with SpaceX on its mission to bring tourists to the moon.

Musk and Bezos have yet to comment on Twitter about the lunar news each of them made this week, although they have engaged in some space-race trash-talking in the past.

For example, when Blue Origin nailed a rocket landing in November 2015 and Bezos boasted of a used rocket as “the rarest of beasts,” Musk made sure to point out on Twitter that SpaceX had a used rocket of its own. A month later, Bezos trolled Musk with a tweet after SpaceX’s rocket landing.

So as SpaceX and Blue Origin turn their attention to the moon, it may be time to grab the popcorn.

 

Photo: The moon almost totally obscures the sun during an annular solar eclipse on May 20, 2012 seen from the campus of Merritt College in Oakland. SpaceX plans to take people to the moon; Blue Origin wants to deliver cargo there. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

 

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