Amazon founder Jeff Bezos while speaking during a luncheon meeting between aerospace experts gave several insights about his current space research project Blue Origin which is reportedly occupying more of his working hours than regular work. He spoke at length about how his firm is learning new experiences from test flights of their rocket New Shepard and how soon he is expecting to take human passengers on joy rides across space by the end of this year. During the meeting Bezos stated that lessons learnt from New Shepard are being applied in the development and creation of its larger New Glenn rocket which is a massive spacecraft the size of a 29 storied skyscraper.
Bezos stated that the objective of creating and testing the New Shepard is to practice and plan the actual flight of the New Glenn as several of the subcomponents of New Shepard are likely to get reused during the second stage of Glenn after it comes back. Both the rockets are in varied stages of development and while New Shepard had been launched 10 times and reached an altitude of 350000 feet before coming back to earth to its test facility located in West Texas.
The rocket’s capsule which spends around 10 minutes floating in the zero gravity zone floated back to earth. The New Shepard after ensuring that it is safe for humans will be used for space tourism as its capsule has massive windows that provide spellbinding views of Earth once it is in space. The New Glenn is an expansive rocket that has been designed to launch large spacecraft like telecommunication and internet based satellites. Once the rocket is operational it will be able to compete with the likes of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy for private missions and national security contracts. Blue Origin has not conducted any maiden flights as yet and the first test flight is scheduled for 2021.