Amazon Founder’s Space Company Wins NASA Contract To Send Astronauts To Moon

FILE - Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket launches carrying passengers William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen, Audrey Powers and Glen de Vries from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. TV celebrity and former football great Michael Strahan is going to have to wait another few days before rocketing into space. Strahan was supposed to blast off Thursday, Dec 9, 2021, from West Texas with five others. But on Wednesday, Jeff Bezos’ space travel company, Blue Origin, bumped the launch to Saturday because of high wind. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

NASA’s chief announced on Friday that Blue Origin, the space company led by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has secured a coveted contract to construct a spacecraft for ferrying astronauts to and from the moon’s surface. This decision marks a significant milestone for Blue Origin and provides NASA with an additional means of transportation for its Artemis program.

By awarding the contract to Blue Origin, NASA ensures a second opportunity to return to the moon, following the agency’s previous allocation of $3 billion to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in 2021. The SpaceX contract aims to facilitate the historic return of astronauts to the lunar surface, marking the first such mission since the conclusion of the Apollo program in 1972.

SpaceX’s participation in the Artemis program involves utilizing its Starship system for future missions, with a projected timeline later in this decade.