Jeff Bezos envisions Moon’s ice water as rocket fuel

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Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, inspects New Shepard’s West Texas launch facility before the rocket’s maiden voyage. (Photo: Courtesy, Blue Origin)

Space company Blue Origin’s founder Jeff Bezos envisions fuelling rockets with lunar ice water and using the Moon as the base to explore space further.

The richest man in the world discussed his vision during the JFK Space Summit that was held in Boston, Massachusetts, on Wednesday.

Bezos said one of the things he learned since the Apollo programme is that there are deposits of water ice at the bottom of craters on the moon, news portal International Business Times reported.

“We can harvest that ice and use it to make hydrogen and oxygen, which are rocket propellants,” the report quoted Bezos as saying.

“The reason we chose those propellants is because we know one day we’ll be refuelling that vehicle on the surface of the Moon from propellants made on the surface of the Moon from that water ice,” Bezos added.

The presence of water ice on the Moon was confirmed in August 2018 by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument aboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon.

Earlier in May, Bezos unveiled a new Moon-lander called ‘Blue Moon’ along with a smaller rover and spoke about his plans of getting to the Moon by 2024.

“We must return to the Moon – this time to stay,” the Blue Origin CEO had said.

Bezos had described his vision of humans living on miles-long, orbiting space stations called ‘O’Neill colonies’, named after physicist Gerard O’Neill, who first floated the concept.

However, SpaceX founder Elon Musk mocked Bezos’ moon plans saying that “they make no sense”.

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