Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is committed to expanding his space ventures



LOS ANGELES-

Amazon.com
Inc.


AMZN 0.44%

founder and executive director

Jeff Bezos

He promised to use his rocket starter to develop robotic rovers and perhaps human habitats on the surface of the moon, even if such projects fail to obtain financial support from the US government. UU

In a personal and extensive talk at a space conference here on Friday, Mr. Bezos presented his vision for lunar exploration and the final solution. Describing such efforts as a matter of long-term human survival, he said: "This is not something we can choose, this is something we should do."

Without divulging details about the new generations of powerful rockets, spacecraft and landing vehicles that he imagines will be needed to establish such permanent positions, Mr. Bezos made a pbadionate argument to accelerate private space travel. He argued that future generations will not be able to survive on Earth without expanding to other parts of the solar system.

"The alternative is stasis," he said, adding that without spatial agreements, societies around the world "will have to stop growing" due to environmental and other limitations. "That is not the future I want for my grandchildren or the grandchildren of my grandchildren."

Mr. Bezos called the efforts of his rocket company, Blue Origin LLC, "the most important job I'm doing." The question and answer session took place at the annual meeting of the National Space Society, a nonprofit group that defends space colonies.

A Mr. Bezos, who describes himself as a space geek and reader of science fiction novels of his life, has spoken in the past about his determination to play an important role in the creation of building blocks to give step to a superflexible, reliable and frequent transport beyond the atmosphere.

multi-millionaire companion

Elon Musk,

founder and director of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Mr. Bezos has talked about the development of infrastructure to eventually move millions of people into space and transform launches of reusable rockets into trips as routine as air travel.

But the last of Bezos's comments were unusually hard to say that to maintain economic vitality, "we will have to leave this planet" and "we do not have much time" to draw a step-by-step approach, beginning with the costs of launching reduced.

"Not one company will do it" or just the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Bezos said, but it will require "thousands of companies working in concert for many decades".

practical and political level, the arguments presented by Mr. Bezos support the President

Donald Trump

approach to relying on public-private partnerships for space exploration, including the construction of landing craft capable of carrying out experiments – and within a few years astronauts – on the lunar surface.

"We must return to the moon, and this time to stay," Mr. Bezos said, echoing one of the White House principles for establishing sustainable outposts.

Even before the Trump administration took office, Blue Origin proposed that NASA help finance it to follow an incipient program designed to send robotic spacecraft to the moon. Other companies are also developing similar projects, and NASA is requesting ideas for various sizes of lander modules.

On his own, Mr. Bezos has sold approximately $ 1 billion of Amazon shares annually to invest in Blue Origin, which expects to begin offering suborbital space tourism flights by 2019. The company's rapid growth and close collaboration It is also developing two larger rockets designed to carry satellites and spacecraft into Earth orbit and beyond.

Noting that in the foreseeable future, "very few people will want to leave the earth completely", he said that liquid fuel rockets that can be flown 100 times or more with minimum maintenance are vital for a new transport model and affordable.

Responding to questions about his commitment to seek human space travel regardless of federal support, the Amazon CEO joked that "other people will take the vision, or I will run out of money."

But he ended the Speech with a more serious note by reiterating his view that lunar exploration is an essential step for transporting humans to Mars and allowing them to create habitats on the Red Planet. Those gradual efforts are the only way to avoid a repetition of previous political mistakes, he said, that saw Apollo astronauts landing on the moon, but then transformed into five decades without further human missions there.

"I do not like to skip steps," he said, and explained that trying to take people directly to Mars would be useless. "There would be a teletype show and then 50 years of nothing."

Write to Andy Pasztor at [email protected]

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