Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a huge space geek. It’s why he has a night job running Blue Origin, a spaceflight company he founded in 2000.
Bezos says it’s expensive to run a space technology company. The infrastructure isn’t in place and it could cost tons of money just to get your foot in the door.
He believes it’s part of the reason why smart people are not even attempting to get in this field.
But Bezos has a simple solution to get more talented people to think about joining the modern space race: have the government offer a “very large prize.”
“That kind of horse race could create lots of attention, people would compete for it, and who knows how it would end?” Bezos said at the 2016 John H. Glenn Lecture in Space History held on Tuesday. “It’s a very effective way of getting a lot of interest and a lot of teams competing.”
Bezos compared it to the DARPA Grand Challenge, the prize competition for autonomous vehicles organised by the research arm of the Department of Defence, which spurred a flurry of research projects in the self-driving car space. Since NASA’s already involved in the Mars sample return mission, aimed at bringing back rock and dust samples from Mars, Bezos believes it could be a good starting point.
“It would be very interesting…Also, if nobody brings the samples back, it costs tax payers nothing,” he added.
You can watch the full conversation in the video below:
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.