JEFF BEZOS has claimed that his Blue Origin space company will bring the bring the first woman to the moon.
The world’s richest man made the announcement in an Instagram post accompanying footage of Blue Origin’s BE-7 engine being tested at Alabama’s Marshal Space Flight Centre. ‘This is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the moon’ said the Amazon CEO, who is in competition to supply lucrative private space travel tech to NASA.
The American space agency is developing new lunar landers with private companies, intending to land on the moon by 2024. NASA said that they will recruit a female astronaut from their current corps for the landing, as 12 men have stepped foot on the moon’s surface yet no women have to date. The agency’s director Jim Bridenstine said that ‘in the late 1960s, young ladies didn’t have the opportunity to see themselves in that role – today they do and I think this is a very exciting opportunity’.
Jeff Bezos’ main rivals in securing lucrative NASA contracts are Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Dynetics, which is owned by Leidos Holdings. So far Blue Origin has received over half a billion dollars to develop lunar landers, while Musk’s company has received $135m for its Starship project. Dynetics has received a quarter of a billion dollars, but these huge contracts might be in jeopardy due to uncertainty regarding President-Elect Joe Biden’s uncertain attitude to space funding.
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