Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos is reportedly offering NASA a discount of at least $2 billion in contract payments if the space agency adds Blue Origin’s Lunar Lander to a key phase of the agency’s Human Landing System program.
The Verge reports that Jeff Bezos is doing his best to convince NASA to choose his company Blue Origin in a current contract bid by offering the space agency a discount of up to $2 billion in contract payments. In a letter to NASA administrator Bill Belson, Bezos said that he would permanently waive up to $2 billion in contract payments for the first two years if NASA adds Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander to a key phase of the agency’s Human Landing System program.
The system would see the first humans landing on the lunar surface in decades. Blue Origin also said that it would self-fund a Blue Moon test launch to low-Earth orbit. “I believe this mission is important,” Bezos said. “I am honored to offer these contributions and am grateful to be in a financial position to be able to do so.”
Bezos’ letter comes a week before the watchdog Government Accountability Office is set to rule on a formal protest of NASA’s award to SpaceX that Blue Origin filed this spring. “All NASA needs to do is take advantage of this offer and amend” the contract, Bezos said. A NASA spokesperson said that the agency was aware of Bezos’ letter but declined to comment further “in order to maintain the integrity of the ongoing procurement process and GAO’s adjudication of this matter.”
Lori Garver, NASA’s former deputy administrator who oversaw the beginning of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, noted that amending the contract to take advantage of the offer from Bezos is not necessarily a simple task. Bezos’ offer is something that the agency shouldn’t ignore, Garver said, but it might not work out entirely for Blue Origin. “I see this as a positive sign overall, but it should not impact the current awards or strategy,” she said.
Bezos’ latest move is a desperate stab at reopening the NASA contract process. Previously, Breitbart News reported on Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) attempting to push through $10 billion to fund a second lunar lander contract for Blue Origin.
Breitbart News’ Allum Bokhari wrote:
The amendment would force NASA to reopen the competition for a lunar landing contract and allow the agency to use up to $10 billion of its budget to select a second lunar lander contractor.
This comes after Blue Origin, the space exploration company founded by Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos, lost out to SpaceX last month.
If Sen. Cantwell’s amendment is successful, it would mean almost $10 billion in taxpayer funds could go to the company owned by Bezos, the richest man in the world. Cantwell represents the State of Washington, where Amazon is headquartered, and the tech monopoly has given her $59,000 in the 2020 election cycle alone.
Breitbart will continue to report on Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin attempting to force their way back into NASA.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com