ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, founder of rocket company Blue Origin, unveiled on Thursday (May 9) a mockup of a lunar lander spacecraft and discussed missions to the moon in a strategy tailored to the U.S. government's renewed push to establish a lunar outpost in just five years.
Bezos, the world's richest man and also chief executive and founder of Amazon.com, told a rare media event in Washington that the lander, named Blue Moon, could deliver payloads to the moon's surface and deploy payloads during journey to Moon.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in March called on NASA to build a space platform in lunar orbit and put American astronauts on the moon's south pole by 2024 "by any means necessary," four years earlier than previously planned.
"I love this," Bezos said of Pence's timeline.
"We can help meet that timeline but only because we started three years ago.
It's time to go back to the moon, this time to stay." During his hour-long presentation at Washington's convention center, Bezos waved his arm and a black drape behind him dropped to reveal the two-story-tall unmanned lander mockup, which he said can deploy up to four smaller rovers and shoot out satellites to orbit the moon.