Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origins spacecraft will one day speed millions of Earth-dwellers in to space.
...guiding Blue Origin LLC “is the most important work I’m doing. It’s crucial,” Bezos told an audience in May at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference. He founded the rocket company 18 years ago in an old warehouse south of Seattle, originally stocking it with tinkerers and science fiction authors who could help reimagine space travel. Now the company, known in the space business as Blue, employs more than 1,500 software engineers and rocket scientists, most of them at its headquarters in Kent, Wash., and the West Texas launch site. It plans to launch New Shepard with test pilots on board as soon as this year, and in 2019 it will sell tickets to brave tourists who want to sit atop a tank of combustible liquid hydrogen and oxygen to experience four minutes of sublime weightlessness in suborbital space.
Blue Origin’s eventual goal is “millions of people living and working in space,” Bezos has said. He plans to get there “step by step, ferociously,” according to Blue Origin’s motto (“gradatim ferociter”), which adorns its coat of arms. New Shepard is the first step. The rocket is tall, thick, and cone-tipped—its shape strenuously suggests off-color metaphors that shall not be deployed here. The crew capsule has a half-dozen large windows, so its astronaut-tourists will have a fantastic view of the gentle curvature of Earth.
Fans of Ridley Scott's film Bladerunner recall another, quite similar, invitation.