NASA said on Friday it has awarded billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft to fly astronauts to the moon, picking it over Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc.
The bid by Tesla Inc chief Musk beat one from Amazon.com Inc’s founder Jeff Bezos, who had partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper. Bezos also owns the Washington Post.
The U.S. space agency made the announcement in a videoconference. “We should accomplish the next landing as soon as possible,” said Steve Jurczyk, NASA’s acting administrator. “This is an incredible time to be involved in human exploration, for all humanity.”