It was refreshing to see Bezos show off his lunar module, Blue Moon and its capabilities. Travel to our Moon can take less than a week, and offers a staging ground with an escape velocity substantially lower than Earth’s.
The Moon has a surface area larger than the entire continent of Africa. The State of Texas is 150 times smaller in surface area than the Moon. With a very thin atmosphere, high speed trains could travel the Moon at 1,000 km/hr, or higher.
Musk has touted the importance of Martian habitation. It’s fine that he works on that, while Musk and Bezos each grab roughly $5 billion in federal subsidies per annum they have produced greater results then would have been achieved by a NASA program for a higher cost.
Economists estimate that in 2019 dollars, the Apollo Program cost NASA $ 119 billion. Estimates of the per shot cost for Space Shuttle program put the cost at around $ 500 million per mission.
Lacking a launch program, the Air Force and NASA have used a combination of Amazon and Tesla launch programs, the United Launch Alliance, consisting of Boeing and Lockheed and even Russian government launch programs.
The European Space Agency also uses the Ariane program with launch costs around $150 million per mission.