Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: NASA

Blue Origin's billionaire founder Jeff Bezos revealed the company's hardware designed to get payloads to the moon during an event on Thursday in Washington.

Why it matters: The event was effectively a plea to NASA. The space agency wants to land humans on the surface of the moon by 2024, and Blue Origin wants to help them get there.

Specifics are thin, but the company's current version of the Blue Moon lander is designed to bring tons of cargo to the lunar surface, with a possible human configuration coming later.

  • "I love this, it’s the right thing to do," Bezos said of NASA's lunar ambitions. "We can help meet that timeline but only because we started 3 years ago."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Details: The Blue Moon lander, in theory, will someday be able to use hydrogen extracted from the ice deposits on the moon's south pole to fuel the craft.

  • Bezos also mentioned the company's plan to one day configure the craft for people.
  • That version would be able "soft land 6.5 metric tons on the lunar surface and [have] an assent on top," Bezos said.
  • At the moment, the company is planning to launch two uncrewed tests of Blue Moon, one in 2023 and one in 2024 with a human launch and landing at the end of 2024.
  • Blue Origin has also presented a version of this plan to NASA in the past.

The backdrop: Bezos has long said that Blue Origin's goal is to help bring about a future where millions of people are living and working in space.

  • The company has launched 11 uncrewed test flights of its New Shepard space system designed to bring paying customers to suborbital space. The first crewed test of that vehicle is expected later this year.
  • Blue Origin is also developing its New Glenn rocket to bring large payloads to orbit, expected to launch for the first time in 2021.
  • "If we’re out in the solar system, we can have 1 trillion humans, 1,000 Mozarts, 1,000 Einsteins," Bezos said.

The context: NASA is now working toward landing people on the south pole of the moon by 2024, 4 years earlier than initially planned, at the direction of the Trump administration.

  • At the moment, it's unclear exactly how much money NASA will need to pull off the mission, and the space agency has yet to release details about how it plans to meet that deadline.
  • NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has said that the space agency will need to work closely with industry partners to get back to the moon.
  • NASA has already looked into using private rockets — like SpaceX's Falcon Heavy — to launch astronauts and payloads to the lunar surface.

Be smart: It's still unclear exactly how any of this will work. The event itself was impressive, with twinkling light curtains and a huge reveal for the lander. But at the end of the day, the company needs to get the New Glenn flying and Blue Moon landing in the near future to make any of this a reality.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.