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Bezos: Government Should Sponsor 'Very Large Prize' To Spur Space Technology

Says 'Horse Race' Would Create A Lot Of Attention For Space Exploration

There should be a major financial incentive for a modern-day space race, and the government should foot the bill, according to Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos.

GeekWire reports that in a discussion with retired astronaut Michael Collins at the 2016 John H. Glenn Lecture in Space History at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Bezos said that the horse race for such a prize "would be very interesting," and "would create lots of attention.”

But Bezos said that the focus should be on "gigantic, hard technology goals" such as bringing a soil sample back from mars, or "an in-space qualified nuclear reactor for deep-space missions — very difficult, very challenging, not something private enterprise is going to undertake anytime soon. Another gigantically hard mission that NASA could undertake that would be very exciting would be hypersonic point-to-point travel on Earth, because NASA isn’t just about space."

During the course of the conversation, Bezos said that he and entrepreneurs like him, such as Elon Musk, all have day jobs because the space efforts are expensive. "I can only do it because I was lucky with Amazon," he said.

(Image from Smithsonian YouTube video)

FMI: Smithsonian Video


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