Blue Origin

Blue Origin logo

In 2000 Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder, founded Blue Origin, LLC as a private aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight company.

The goal of Blue Origin is to get private citizens to space cheaply and reliably. According to Wikipedia, Blue Origin is doing so by “employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work.”

Bezos has been interested in space flight from an early age. In his valedictorian speech in high school, he stated he wanted to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 or 3 million people.

In 1999 after watching the film October Sky, he contacted science fiction author Neal Stephenson about forming a space company, which he did in 2000, and began buying up land in Texas in 2003. However, Bezos said little about the company until the year 2015.

Blue Origin has mainly focused on the creation and testing of a vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) rocket called New Shepard, named after the first American in Space, Alan Shepard. It’s to be used to send space tourism customers to space.

New Shepard’s first vertical landing happened on November 23, 2015, when it reached outer space and then successfully landed vertically. This was a first for a rocket. There have been several more successful flights and landings since then.

See a video of the successful launch and landing of New Shepard from December 11, 2019 below: