Bezos says Blue Origin will one day refuel its lunar lander with ice from the moon

Key Points
  • Bezos was speaking at the JFK Space Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • He pointed out that we know a lot more about the moon today than when we first landed on the moon in 1969.
  • Among other things, we know there are deep ice deposits, which could be used to make fuel.
Jeff Bezos announces Blue Moon, a lunar landing vehicle for the Moon, during a Blue Origin event in Washington, DC, May 9, 2019.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos gave more insight into his space company's lunar plans on Wednesday, explaining how its spacecraft will eventually be powered with fuel harvested from the moon.

"We know things about the moon now we didn't know about during the Apollo days," Bezos said, speaking at the JFK Space Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.

One of the things learned since Apollo that Bezos highlighted is that there are deposits of water ice at the bottom of craters on the moon.

"We can harvest that ice and use to make hydrogen and oxygen, which are rocket propellants," Bezos said.

Blue Origin is developing its "Blue Moon" lunar lander, which Bezos unveiled last month. Bezos said Blue Moon is powered by a BE-7 engine, which uses hydrogen and oxygen as its two fuel sources.

"The reason we chose those propellants is because … we know one day we'll be refueling that vehicle on the surface of the moon from propellants made on the surface of the moon from that water ice," Bezos said.

Blue Moon is large enough to carry several people as well as cargo to and from the lunar surface. Bezos has said previously that Blue Moon fits NASA's plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.

With its Latin tagline of "step by step, ferociously," Blue Origin has been working on multiple space systems at the same time. In addition to Blue Moon, the company is building a rocket for space tourism called New Shepard, as well as a giant rocket called New Glenn that will launch satellites and other spacecraft.

Bezos invests more than $1 billion in the company each year, through sales of his Amazon shares.