Amazon's Bezos says he'll send a spaceship to the moon

Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs

Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs

"The larger variant of Blue Moon has been created to land an ascent vehicle that will allow us to return Americans to the Moon by 2024".

"We can help make that timeline, but only because we started three years ago", he said. The lander was revealed alongside the new BE-7 rocket engine during a media presentation on Thursday. Most importantly, it has the capability of carrying 3.6 to 6.5 metric tons of payload that includes a rover and humans interested in traveling to the lunar surface. In late March, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine praised the new, highly ambitious deadline - assuming everything goes according to plan, the agency anticipates making a crewed mission near the Moon in 2022.

Blue Origin describes Blue Moon as a "flexible lander" created to deliver payloads ranging from small to large to the Moon's surface.

Blue Origin is based in Kent, Wash., and has built out a 750,000-square-foot plant for its New Glenn rocket just outside Kennedy Space Center. The company is aiming to deliver its New Glenn rocket by 2021, while launching humans in a suborbital flight later this year atop its rocket-and-capsule New Shepard.

Mr Bezos, 55, has spoken of his desire to colonise space, saying he wants millions of people to live off Earth. It plans to launch the powerful space vehicle from Cape Canaveral.

"One of the most important things we know about the moon today is that there's water there", Bezos said.

His vision is shared by other billionaire-backed private space ventures like Elon Musk's SpaceX and aerospace incumbents like United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which Trump has frequently targeted in his broadsides about "fake news".