Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos on Monday has offered NASA a $2 billion discount in exchange for a contract to build a lunar lander to land astronauts on the moon.
“This offer is not a deferral but is an outright and permanent waiver of those payments. This offer provides time for government appropriation actions to catch up,” said Bezos in an open letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Bezos said he is willing to permanently waive the billion-dollar 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 (HLS) program.
Blue Origin would also self-fund a Blue Moon test launch to low-Earth orbit which would likely cost hundreds of millions more.
NASA awarded the $2.89 billion contract for the HLS program last April to Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX.
A NASA spokesperson said 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.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is due to rule on a formal protest of NASA’s award to SpaceX that Blue Origin filed this spring.
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