What Does Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Want With The Moon?
Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled his mock-up of a lunar lander spacecraft with hopes to establish a research outpost on the moon in just five years.
Bezos, the world's richest man, unveiled the model created by his rocket company, Blue Origin at Washington's convention centre on Thursday.
The 'Blue Moon' lunar lander has been proposed as a vehicle that could assist the U.S. Government in its renewed strategy to create a lunar research outpost.
The two-storey high lander could deliver payloads to the moon's surface and deploy up to four smaller rovers and shoot out satellites that could orbit the moon.
Blue Origin has also created a mock-up rover that the lander could carry, which is roughly the size of a golf cart.
NASA have stated that they aim to place astronauts on the south pole of the moon within the next five years.
The area is critical as a base for long-term space exploration because it has vast quantities of ice that can be exploited as a resource and it is the most thoroughly-investigated area of the moon.
U.S. governments have focused strongly on the idea of returning to the moon since Nixon, but Obama's space exploration priorities tended towards a mission to Mars as well as studying asteroids closer to Earth.
Globally, the focus has now returned to developing the moon as a research base.
In January, the China National Space Administration landed a spacecraft, Chang'e-4 on the dark side of the moon for the first time.
In April, an Israeli non-profit crashed SpaceIL, an inexpensive space vehicle, into the moon after it took a hovering selfie above its surface.
The European Space Agency and Russia are now even working together to investigate the moon's resources and plan to mine samples of lunar ice within the next four years.
In his unveiling speech Bezos mentioned the pressing problems on Earth such as hunger, poverty, pollution and rampant energy use which motivated him to find long-term solutions in space.
He compared Amazon Prime deliveries to the space payloads that Blue Moon would be capable of and said that it is "time to go back to this moon, this time to stay".
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