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Bezos-owned company wants manned moon mission in 2024
Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO who also owns the aerospace company Blue Origin, announced his space company's plans Thursday for a manned mission to the moon.
"This vehicle is going to the moon," Bezos said while revealing the plan, according to USA Today. He added that he hopes the lunar lander, called Blue Moon, will head towards the celestial body in 2024.
Bezos said that going to the moon is a good idea because it has a weaker gravitational pull than Earth.
"We were given a gift - this nearby body called the moon," he said.
"It's time to go back to the moon, and this time to stay," Bezos added.
Bezos stood before a mock-up of the craft at the presentation.
He also confirmed that the company will fly people to space this year in the "New Shephard," a reusable suborbital rocket system. The company is also working on a future rocket, the "New Glenn," capable of carrying people and payloads by 2021.
Bezos, also the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, described the lander and rockets as just the first steps toward larger space missions.
He floated the idea of space colonies, showing images of spacecraft people could live in. He said that the weather in such colonies, which would float or orbit in space, could be like that of Maui.
The commercial space industry has grown in recent years. In addition to Bezos's Blue Origin, other billionaires have also jumped into the field, including Richard Branson with Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit, and The Spaceship Company, companies that are developing commercial spacecraft and satellites. Branson has said that Virgin Group has invested over $1 billion in the three smaller companies.
Another rival is Elon Musk and his company SpaceX, which is developing reusable rockets to place satellites in orbit and more ambitious plans for transport to Mars.