The era of commercial suborbital human spaceflight may finally be here, but whether it lasts isn’t certain, and neither is its importance.
A more fundamental competition than Bezos vs. Branson is taking shape, pitting companies against the clock. Can those companies establish a human presence in low Earth orbit before the International Space Station is retired around 2030?
Jeff Bezos and the others who were on the first crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle hailed the experience as better than expected, but Bezos is facing a backlash for spending part of his extreme wealth on space.
Blue Origin performed its first crewed New Shepard launch July 20, sending company founder Jeff Bezos and three other people on a suborbital flight.
Blue Origin is on track to perform the first crewed launch of its New Shepard vehicle July 20, carrying company founder Jeff Bezos and three others on a suborbital spaceflight.
With less than a week before its first crewed suborbital spaceflight, Blue Origin is distributing some of the proceeds from an auction for one of the seats on that flight to a group of space-related non-profit organizations.
Blue Origin announced July 1 that it will fly one of the “Mercury 13” women who underwent astronaut training in the early years of the space program on the company’s first crewed New Shepard suborbital flight.
A seat on the first crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle sold for $28 million at an auction June 12.
Some saw Jeff Bezos' announcement that he will will step down as chief executive of Amazon in July as a sign that Bezos would use that time and energy to provide new urgency for Blue Origin.