. 24/7 Space News .
Billionaires in space: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin touts rocket safety
by Paul Brinkmann
Washington DC (UPI) Jul 16, 2021

As Jeff Bezos prepares to become the second billionaire to blast into space on his own company's rocket next week, his Blue Origin is touting the safety of its rocket system.

The New Shepard suborbital rocket is scheduled for liftoff at 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday from the company's Corn Ranch launch site 160 miles east of El Paso, Texas -- pending any weather or technical delays.

Blue Origin officials said New Shepard's safety is elevated by an abort method. At any point in the launch process, the capsule is capable of popping off the rocket and flying to a safe landing under its parachutes.

"Blue Origin has been flight-testing the New Shepard rocket and its redundant safety systems since 2012," Gary Lai, senior director of design for New Shepard, said in a video released by the company.

"The program has had 15 successful consecutive test missions, including three successful escape tests, showing the crew escape system can activate safely in any phase of flight," Lai said.

Blue Origin's method not only is safer, but also feels more like a true astronaut experience because it is a rocket with vertical liftoff, compared to Virgin Galactic, whose plane that launched last Sunday takes off on a runway, said John Spencer, a space architect and president of the non-profit Space Tourism Society.

"The Bezos approach is more into the ethos of spaceflight, you might say," Spencer said in an interview. "There's even a gantry tower and a walkway. There's a countdown, a liftoff."

The capsule has "the largest windows to have flown in space," according to a Blue Origins fact sheet.

Bezos' vision to build an infrastructure that will permanently enable space exploration is his ultimate goal, Spencer said.

Bezos has said he chose July 20 for the launch because it is the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

"Like Elon Musk, Bezos' long-term plan from Day 1 one was to inspire people and eventually build orbital rockets and facilities on the moon," Spencer said.

The Blue Origin trip, however, will be over quick, he noted. After reaching space, passengers will experience a few minutes of weightlessness and then return to Earth under parachutes. Most New Shepard flights last about 11 minutes.

British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic flights last about 90 minutes. The length of time spent in weightlessness is about the same for both.

Riding with Bezos will be his brother, Mark Bezos, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen of the Netherlands. They will become the oldest and youngest people to fly in space, respectively, doing so on Blue Origin's first crewed flight.

"I want to go on this flight because it's a thing I wanted to do all my life. It's an adventure. It's a big deal for me. I invited my brother to come ... because we're closest friends," Bezos said in a June video posted on Instagram.

Bezos, who amassed a fortune from e-commerce giant Amazon, which he founded, bought the remote, 165,000 acre Corn Ranch in 2004 to make it a spaceport. Blue Origin has built several launchpads and engine testing stands there.

The historic launch is planned just nine days after Branson flew into space aboard his company's VSS Unity spaceplane, marking the first time the founder of a commercial space company did so.

Blue Origin also made a point on social media that its 59-foot-tall rocket will go at least a dozen miles higher than Branson's vehicle -- to the 62-mile Kármán line that much of the world defines as true outer space.

Space industry analysts will be watching closely to see which the public prefers, said Dallas Kasaboski, senior analyst with Northern Sky Research.

"Going to space will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most passengers, so they're going to study the difference between a rocket and a spaceplane," Kasaboski said. "Blue Origin has some advantages, but some may want a more leisurely, longer trip."

The big unknown about Blue Origin is the cost of a ticket under normal operations, Kasaboski said. Regardless, both new space tourism companies have proved there is plenty of demand, he said.

Blue Origin held an auction to sell a seat on the trip, and the winning bid was $28 million. But the bidder, whose name was not released, could not fly because of what was described as a schedule conflict.

Daemen's father, the CEO of a private equity firm, put the teen on the trip when his bid, the second highest, was then selected for Tuesday's launch. The teenager has a pilot's license and plans to major in physics in college.

Bezos says he expects the space experience will be profound.

"To see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It's one Earth," he said.

Related Links
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

India's ISRO tests high-powered rocket engine for country's first manned mission
New Delhi (Sputnik) Jul 16, 2021
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned to send two uncrewed flights to test end-to-end capacity for the country's first manned mission, Gaganyaan. As the first flight deadline is December, the space agency is racing against time to launch the mission as the COVID-19 lockdown has drastically affected their schedule. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted its third long-duration hot test of the liquid-propellant Vikas engine for the Gaganyaan prog ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

How can you become a space tourist?

Who's who on Blue Origin's first crewed flight

Earth's richest man Bezos to blast off into space

With the HUMANS project, a message that space is for everyone

Long March 2C rocket carrying four satellites launched

Thruster research to help propel spacecraft

Amazon magnate Bezos ready to ride his own rocket to space

China's experimental space plane aces test flight

NASA studies bigger, better Mars helicopter

ExoMars orbiter continues hunt for key signs of life on Mars

Zhurong rover visits parachute and backshell

Mars Helicopter reveals intriguing terrain for rover team

China's five-star red flag flies proudly on red planet

China's Commercial Space Industry

Exercise bike in space helps keep crew fit

Homemade spacesuits ensure safety of Chinese astronauts in space

Funding partnerships launch the UK-Australia Space Bridge

Space, the final frontier for billionaire Richard Branson

Department of Space's commercial arm NewSpace India can also lease ISRO assets

OneWeb and BT to explore rural connectivity solutions for UK

Scientists created several samples of glasses for protection against nuclear radiation

Rescuing Integral: No thrust? No problem

New material could mean lightweight armor, protective coatings

Britain supports U.S. plan for deep space radar station

First measurement of isotopes in atmosphere of exoplanet

A potential new tracer of exoplanet formation

Brainless slime molds 'think' their way through the environment

TESS discovers stellar siblings host 'teenage' exoplanets

Juno tunes into Jovian radio triggered by Jupiter's volcanic moon Io

Ride with Juno as it flies past Jupiter and Ganymede

The mystery of what causes Jupiter's X-ray auroras is solved

Surface of Jupiter's moon Europa churned by small impacts

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.