Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of other things and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has offered $2 billion of his to NASA, hoping the space agency will award him a contract to make a moon rocket. The contract currently belongs to SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, who has a $2.9 billion deal to build a spacecraft to take humans to the moon in 2024. Bezos’ Blue Origin space company had originally lost the bid to Musk, and filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, accusing NASA of giving SpaceX an unfair advantage. The agency is expected to make a decision in early August, setting up a potential for NASA to reconsider its bid.
In his letter to NASA chief Bill Nelson, Bezos offered to waive payments up to $2 billion and foot the bill for the mission in exchange for vetting Blue Origin’s rocket technology and a fixed contract. Bezos also offered to cover cost overruns. “NASA veered from its original dual-source acquisition strategy due to perceived near-term budgetary issues, and this offer removes that obstacle,” Bezos wrote.