WASHINGTON, DC — NASA has added five American companies to the pool of vendors that will be eligible to bid on proposals to provide deliveries to the surface of the Moon, including humans, through the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
Among the companies are industry leaders Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, as well as Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin.
“We are humbled and inspired to lead this deeply committed team that will land NASA astronauts on the Moon,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin. “Combining our partners’ heritage with our advance work on the Blue Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program.”
Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon, and owner of the Washington Post newspaper.
Bezos spoke at the 70th International Astronautical Congress today in Washington, DC.His company is going to bid for NASA's Artemis program, which is taking humans back to the lunar surface by 2024.
This comes a month after NASA asked for Congressional support to move up its next moon landing mission to 2024.
NASA executives spoke before the House Appropriations subcommittee and asked for funding beyond the $22 billion dollars allocated.
Members expressed reservations about funding for the Artemis missions, which would be a precursor to a Mars landing.Democratic Chairman Jose Serrano says moving up the timeline seems to have political motivation, giving President Trump a moon landing if he wins a second term.