Yesterday, Amazon big man Jeff Bezos took the stage in Washington, DC to unveil Blue Moon, the first lunar lander from his company Blue Origin. Bezos wants to take stuff—and people!—to the moon. I’m so into this.
Bezos has bankrolled Blue Origin for nearly 19 years with the goal of making space travel both more affordable and more reliable. The ultimate goal is to allow private trips to space, where Bezos one day hopes to colonize. “It’s time to go back to the moon, this time to stay,” Bezos said yesterday during the announcement. Blue Moon is the first step in making that dream a reality.
The Blue Moon lander will be capable of autonomously navigating space, and soft-landing up to 6.5 metric tons on the surface of the moon. And Bezos wants to get it there by the year 2024—the same year NASA plans to return to the moon. They should have a moon party. That would be neat.
So why does Bezos think the moon can sustain people? Because it has ice, it’s close, and getting resources from Earth to the moon is “easy” because of low gravity. According to Bezos, “this is Maui on its best day all year long. No rain, no storms, no earthquakes.” I mean, when you put it that way, who wouldn’t want to go?
Bezos isn’t the only ultra-rich person in the world trying to make it to space, either. Elon Musk has Space X, which has already had successful launches and landings with Falcon Heavy, and Virgin Group wildman Richard Branson has Virgin Galactic with the goals of building a commercial spacecraft to help people vacation on places that aren’t Earth.
Seriously though, this is cool. If someone would’ve told 12-year-old me that we’d be talking about sending people to the moon to just to hang out, I would’ve freaked. Now if we can only learn from the mistakes that we’ve made here on Earth to not, you know, destroy other planets, that would be good. [Wired, The Verge, CNET]
In Other News
Virtual Desktops are coming to Chrome OS in version 76, Google is gearing up to accept cash payments in the Play Store, Apple wants you to “do one last great thing” with your iPhone, and more.
- Virtual Desktops in Chrome OS will be available in 76: We’ve been keeping a close eye on the development of virtual desktops in Chrome OS, and it looks like they’re getting pretty close to prime time. According to a developer session at Google I/O this week, they’ll be available starting in Chrome OS 76. Awesome. [About Chromebooks]
- Cash money in Google Play: A new feature called “deferred payments” will let users buy apps then pay for them later by walking into a convenience store and dropping cash money. [Android Police]
- Apple wants you to trade in your iPhone: When it comes time to get a new iPhone, Apple wants you to trade your old one in so it can be refurbished and “put it back into the world.” Or, if it’s at the end of its life, be recycled. The new ad talking up the trading program is seriously one of the best ads I’ve ever seen. Really tugs on the heartstrings. Well done, Apple. [YouTube]
- Netflix buys StoryBots: If you have young kids, you’ve probably seen StoryBots on Netflix (perhaps even multiple times). Good news! Netflix purchased the brand so these little robots will become a mainstay on the streaming service. My little guy loves it, so I’m excited about this. [Engadget]
- iFixit tears down the Pixel 3a: Turns out it’s more repairable than the Pixel 3 since it’s made of plastic and lacks water resistance. Still, it only got a 6/10 for repairability. [CNET]
- At I/O, Google talks Fuchsia: Android and Chrome lead Hiroshi Lockheimer opened up about Google’s “secret” project Fuchsia at Google I/O, saying that “Fuchsia is about just pushing state of the art” and not about replacing Android or Chrome OS. Curious. [The Verge]
If you regret not buying a brand new iPod back when Steve Jobs first announced it, boy do we have good news for you. A mint, factory-sealed original iPod is up for sale on eBay. It’s been sitting in a box, unopened, waiting for someone to buy it for 18 long years. And right now it can be yours for just $19,995. What a bargain. [eBay via MacRumors]