Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offered to waive $2 billion in payments to secure his spaceflight company Blue Origin a NASA contract.
Bezos asked NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in an open letter Monday to award Blue Origin a contract to construct a Human Landing System (HLS), a lunar-landing vehicle, as part of the Artemis program, offering to waive up to $2 billion in fees. Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX had been awarded the $2.9 billion contract in April, beating out Blue Origin’s bid, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Artemis program is intended to return human astronauts to the Moon, with a manned mission to Mars planned as well. Though the program was initially planned as a joint contract, it was awarded solely to SpaceX due to budgetary constraints which Bezos’ offer sought to alleviate, according to the letter.
“Blue Origin will bridge the HLS budgetary funding shortfall by waiving all payments in the current and next two government fiscal years up to $2 billion to get the program back on track right now,” Bezos wrote in the letter.
Jeff Bezos became the second billionaire to successfully reach outer space this month when his Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft exited the atmosphere Tuesday, the latest development in the ongoing space race between Bezos, SpaceX’s Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson.
Branson was the first billionaire in space last week when he and several crew members aboard his VSS Unity spaceplane successfully flew to an altitude of 53.5 miles. His company Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004, is developing commercial spacecraft to be used in suborbital flights for those seeking a trip to outer space. Musk’s SpaceX, founded in 2002, has been at the forefront of the private space industry for over a decade, with Musk planning a mission to Mars as early as 2024.
After completing a 10 minute flight to the edge of space, Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he is gifting $100 million each to Van Jones and José Andrés.
According to Bezos, the new philanthropic endeavor, The Courage and Civility Award, awarded to the two “recognizes leaders who aim high, and who pursue solutions with courage, and who always do so with civility.”
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and three other passengers successfully launched into space Tuesday aboard the billionaire’s Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches, carrying the company’s first crew and heading toward space.https://t.co/kYI3pmFsLB #BlueOrigin #JeffBezos pic.twitter.com/Xs0TnjpVbE
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) July 20, 2021
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos officially handed over the position of CEO to successor Andy Jassy on Monday, transitioning to the role of executive chair.
Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth roughly $180 billion according to the Associated Press, announced in a blog post his plans to step down from the chief executive officer position in February. Bezos said his new position as executive chair would allow him “to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.”
Amazon endorsed President Joe Biden’s proposed higher corporate tax rate despite its history of routinely avoiding most or all of its federal tax obligations.
The massive online retailer supports President Joe Biden’s plan to pay for the $2 trillion infrastructure plan he unveiled last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement Tuesday. Biden announced that the plan would raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who announced plans to step down as Amazon’s CEO last month to focus on philanthropic and science interests, is set to spend the $10 billion he invested in the Bezos Earth Fund by 2030, the Associated Press reported.
Bezos announced the fund in February 2020, but he offered few details on how exactly the money would be distributed. Andrew Steer, who for eight years has been the head of the environmental nonprofit World Resources Institute (WRI), will be the fund’s CEO.
In a series of tweets, Steer revealed very few details, however he did say Bezos’ “goal is to spend it down between now and 2030.”
Amazon announced Tuesday that CEO Jeff Bezos is stepping down later this year and will become executive chair of the company.
Andy Jassy, who is the CEO of Amazon Web Services, will become Amazon’s new CEO when Bezos departs in the third quarter of this year from the CEO post.