JEFF Bezos could get his chance to send humans to the moon – as Nasa opens bids for a SECOND lunar lander.
Last April, NASA awarded a £2.1 billion contract to build the first lander Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
It is expected to return to the moon as early as 2025 as part of the manned Artemis mission.
musk Knock out Amazon billionaire Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense company Dynetics Inc in 2021.
But Bezos, 58, may now make another bid to build a lunar lander for Nasa.
Any commercial space company can apply to build the spacecraft.
It needs to get people from lunar orbit to and from the lunar surface.
And the ship has to be ready by 2026 or 2027.
Musk’s SpaceX lander is said to be the first woman and the first person of color to land on the moon.
And the landing may be just three years away, although delays are possible.
Upon winning the bid, Musk, CEO of Tesla, celebrated with a tweet: “Nasa Rules!!”
The lander is based on his company’s spacecraft, which is being tested in Texas.
Nasa said it will carry two US astronauts as part of its Artemis program, which could lead to a permanent lunar base and a Mars landing.
“We will not stop at the moon,” said Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “Mars is the ultimate goal.”
The Trump administration originally set a landing deadline of 2024, but we don’t expect a launch until 2025.
“We will do it when it’s safe,” Kathy Lueders, who heads NASA’s Office for Human Space Exploration, said last year.
Nasa has said at least one of the first moonwalkers since 1972 would be that first woman on the moon.
Bezos narrowly missed being part of the original winning lineup.
Nasa wanted to pick two winners from the three finalists last year, but ended up choosing one.
The decision to pick just one winner came with budget concerns after Nasa received about a quarter of the $3.4 billion it requested.
Blue Origin filed (and lost) a lawsuit against Nasa.
Nasa has since received more money to develop new lunar landers, and Blue Origin could close the deal.
Space Agency chief Bill Nelson said competition “leads to better and more reliable results.”
“It benefits the American people,” he added during a news conference.
Proposals for the second lander will be submitted this spring.
But Musk’s SpaceX won’t be able to bid for the contract, having already won last year’s deal.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8553646/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-nasa-moon-artemis-elon-musk/ Jeff Bezos gets another chance to beat Elon Musk’s SpaceX for SECOND Nasa lunar lander in 2026