BLUF

Amazon’s founder has big plans for space travel and business following his successful space flight.

Summary

Just days after Virgin Galactic reached space, Jeff Bezos also reached suborbital space in Blue Origin’s  New Shepherd. The key points made by this article are: 
  • New Shepherd is a rocket topped by a capsule.
  • Carries four people.
  • The capsule reached 107 km above Earth, followed by a parachute-aided landing.
  • The rocket returned via a vertical, powered touchdown.
  • Liftoff to landing took ten minutes. 
  • Blue Origin had previously received a major boost when NASA awarded it a contract to develop a crew ferry vehicle for the International Space Station, a task once done by the Space Shuttle, which was retired in 2011.
  • New Shepard is named after Alan Shepard, who made the US’s first suborbital flight.
  • Bezos was struck by just how thin Earth’s atmosphere is and how greenhouse gases are damaging it. 
  • Blue Origin aims to work towards:
    • Having millions of people living and working in space.
    • Moving mining and heavy industry off Earth.
Bezos is now focussed on Blue Origin and the Bezos Earth Fund.