Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon as well as a rocket company called Blue Origin, wants to colonize the moon.
That’s according to a report from The Washington Post, which obtained a secret memo the billionaire was circulating around the offices of NASA and President Trump’s administration.
An early stage of the plan, set to kick off by mid-2020, would begin an “Amazon-like shipment service” to the moon to deliver the cargo astronauts would need to permanently settle the lunar landscape.
Bezos confirmed the document’s authenticity to the Post. “It is time for America to return to the Moon — this time to stay,” he reportedly said. “A permanently inhabited lunar settlement is a difficult and worthy objective. I sense a lot of people are excited about this.”
Counting Elon Musk’s recent announcement that he’d like to launch two paying customers around the moon in late 2018, Bezos’ plans mark the second private lunar mission in the works that’s come to light this year.
Blue Origin, like Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, is developing a “super heavy-lift” rocket that would be capable of lofting people, supplies, and spacecraft into deep space.
According to an early comparison of both rockets, the first iteration of New Glenn will be taller than the Falcon Heavy, but the latter may have about 30% more thrust.
Both rockets will be partly reusable, theoretically lowering the cost of access to space.
“Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step. It won’t be the last of course,” Bezos wrote in an email to Business Insider in September 2016. “Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong. But that’s a story for the future.”
Whether Trump and NASA will go for Bezos’ proposal remains to be seen. But to make Blue Origin’s moon colonization scheme possible, Davenport wrote, the company said it must to pair up with the space agency.
Read Davenport’s full story at The Washington Post.