A Ticket to Ride… A Ticket to Crash?
In its continuing race with fellow private sector space launch company SpaceX to commercialize access to space for the public and industry, Blue Origin recently announced that it is planning to purposely crash land the empty crew capsule of its New Shepard rocket. The capsule is mounted on top of the reusable booster.
Company CEO billionaire Jeff Bezos revealed the extraordinary test in a tweet about the next launch of the New Shepard rocket.
“On this upcoming mission we also plan to stress the crew capsule by landing with an intentionally failed parachute, demonstrating our ability to safely handle that failure scenario,” Bezos subsequently wrote in an email update that was sent following his Twitter announcement. “It promises to be an exciting demonstration.”
New Shepard is the company’s flagship rocket, one that it hopes to use to send tourists to space starting in 2018. Those trips, if and when they happen, will be short — Blue Origin plans to offer just four minutes of weightlessness before the capsules return to Earth. Passengers will be passing what’s known as the Karman line — an imaginary boundary 62 miles above the Earth that signals the beginning of what the industry officially refers to as “space” — but they won’t be going into orbit.
And while the company is private, as are many of its competitors, many industry insiders believe that as these private concerns begin to notch mission successes they will go public. And we will be well positioned to capitalize on those initial public offerings when they come.
Blue Origin, the private space travel company founded by Amazon CEO Bezos, is planning to take its first paying passengers into space as soon as 2018.
Those rich enough to pay for private travel won’t be the first humans carried into space by Bezos’ rockets, though — the company’s first piloted test flights will begin in 2017.
Tests are set to begin on the company’s new engine, named BE-4, before the end of this year. In the meantime, Blue Origin has yet to start accepting deposits, but Bezos says thousands have already expressed their interest in paying for a ride into the outer reaches of our atmosphere.
Onward and Upward,
P.S. To read more in-depth articles on the prospects for success on space tourism as well as other cutting-edge technology updates and how you can benefit from owning the hidden companies that are driving the biggest advances in high-tech right now, click here to subscribe to Breakthrough Technology Alert written by Stephen Petranek.