Jeff Bezos’ space colonization plan was partially inspired by a 1976 book he read in high school that proposed connecting the Earth and the moon via a series of enormous, cylindrical tubes

Jeff Bezos will partner with aerospace companies Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp to compete for a government contract to put man back on the moon, the billionaire announced October 22.

However, that's just one phase of Bezos's space exploration plan. The end goal is to build a space colony inspired by a book he read in high school, The Atlantic's Franklin Foer reported in the magazine's November issue.

"The High Frontier" explains physicist and Princeton professor Gerard K. O'Neill's "three-pronged plan of Space Colonization, Space Solar Power and Large Scale Space Construction," according to the book's synopsis. O'Neill's plan includes building huge cylindrical tubes between Earth and the moon that would house colonies. Bezos once said the colonies would be like "Maui on its best day, all year long," according to The Atlantic. "No rain, no storms, no earthquakes."

The book is "beloved by sci-fi geeks, NASA functionaries, and aging hippies," according to The Atlantic. Bezos even attended seminars taught by O'Neill at Princeton, The Atlantic reported.

"Through Blue Origin, Bezos is developing detailed plans for realizing O'Neill's vision," Foer wrote in The Atlantic.

In a 2018 interview with Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of Business Insider's parent company Axel Springer, Bezos outlined his goals for Blue Origin. The billionaire proposed relocating heavy industry to space, so Earth would become primarily residences. "The Solar System can easily support a trillion humans," Bezos said. "And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts and unlimited — for all practical purposes — resources and solar power and so on. That's the world that I want my great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren to live in."

In addition to lunar landers, the notoriously secretive Blue Origin is also developing a mostly reusable rocket system called New Glenn, which was designed to rival the Falcon Heavy rocket system built by Elon Musk's SpaceX.

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