WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos will unveil plans for moon missions today, adapted to the renewed US government push to establish a lunar outpost in just five years, people familiar with the question.
FILE PHOTO: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, addresses the media for the New Shepard rocket and the Crew Capsule prototype at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, April 5, 2017. REUTERS / Isaiah J . Downing
Bezos, the richest man in the world and CEO of Amazon.com, is scheduled to host a rare multimedia event at 16:00. EDT (2000 GMT) in Washington to provide "an update on our progress and share our vision of going into space for the benefit of the Earth".
Blue Origin spokeswoman Caitlin Dietrich did not respond to requests for comment.
Kent, based in Washington, Blue Origin has been closed about his lunar strategy. But people familiar with the company's plans, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Bezos should provide details on lunar missions and a lunar spaceship that the company is developing. Blue has also discussed a human outpost on the moon.
US Vice President Mike Pence in March invited NASA to build a space platform in the lunar orbit and put American astronauts on the south pole of the moon by 2024 "by any means necessary", four years earlier than planned previously. Bezos will probably frame his strategy to align with that timeline in an effort to attract funds from the US space agency, one of the people said.
An industry source said the company worked to refine and accelerate its strategy after Pence's comments.
The company dropped a possible suggestion about the announcement with a Twitter post last month of a photo of the ship used by explorer Ernest Shackleton on an expedition to Antarctica – a possible reference to a D & # 39 crater ; impact on the south lunar pole that shares the name of the man.
Bezos, who spoke of his broader vision of allowing a future in which millions of people live and work in space, was keen to move towards commercialization.
But his vision is shared by other billionaire space ventures like Elon Musk's SpaceX and aerospace incumbents like the United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin.
Blue Origin is developing its new Shepard rocket for short-distance touristic travel and a heavy-lift launch rocket called New Glenn for satellite launch contracts. The company aims to deliver its new Glenn rocket by 2021, while launching humans into a suborbital flight at the end of the year on top of its New Shepard rocket-and-capsule.
Reporting of Joey Roulette in Washington and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Will Dunham
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