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Jeff Bezos, owner of Blue Origin, introduces a new lunar landing module called Blue Moon during an event at the Washington Convention Center, May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Jeff Bezos is looking to take one giant leap for woman-kind.
The billionaire Amazon tycoon says his space-exploration company Blue Origin will carry the first woman to the moon as the firm vies for a NASA contract to participate in the milestone mission.
The world’s richest man made the declaration in an Instagram post alongside a video from a test of the BE-7 engine that will power the lunar lander Blue Origin is developing for NASA’s Artemis Program, which aims to return Americans to the moon’s surface by 2024.
“This is the engine that will take the first woman to the surface of the Moon,” Bezos wrote in the Friday post following the engine test at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The engine has now gone through about 21 minutes of testing in all, Bezos added.
Blue Origin is leading a team of companies seeking a contract to build NASA’s next lunar lander as the space agency works to send astronauts to the moon for the first time since the final Apollo mission in 1972.
The Blue Origin team — which also includes Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Draper — is competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX as well as Dynetics, an Alabama-based defense contractor. All three companies won development contracts from NASA in April, and the agency plans to choose two of them in March 2021 to continue building their prototypes.
Blue Origin first unveiled its “Blue Moon” lunar lander last year at an event where Bezos detailed his dreams that humans will one day live in elaborate space colonies. The secretive company is also working on a rocket that aims to carry human tourists into space.
Bezos — whose net worth of $185 billion makes him the wealthiest person in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index — sells his Amazon stock to help fund Blue Origin. He’s raked in more than $10 billion this year by dumping shares in the e-commerce titan, whose stock price has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With Post wires