SAN FRANCISCO :
FRESH from his trip to the edge of space, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos has offered NASA a discount of up to $2 billion to give his space company Blue Origin the human lunar landing system (HLS) contract, won by Elon Musks SpaceX earlier this year. Escalating his space war with Musk, Bezos in an open letter to the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on Monday that his company would close US space agency’s near-term budgetary shortfall and producing a safe and sustainable lander that will return Americans to the surface of the Moon – this time to stay.
“I believe this mission is important. I am honoured to offer these contributions and am grateful to be in a financial position to be able to do so,” Bezos wrote. Amid protests from Bezos-owned Blue Origin, the US space agency in May suspended work on the $2.9 billion lunar lander contract given to Elon Musk-owned SpaceX. Blue Origin had filed a protest with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) against NASA for awarding $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX for landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024. In the letter, Bezos said that “Blue Origin will bridge the HLS budgetary funding shortfall by waiving all payments in the current and next two government fiscal years up to $2B to get the programme back on track right now”.