Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Plans to Send First Tourists into Space in April 2021

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Private space company Blue Origin plans to make its first crewed flight into space in April 2021. CNBC writes about this, citing sources.

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin aims to send the first tourists into space in April. On Thursday, January 14, the company successfully completed the 14th test flight of its rocket booster and New Shepard capsule.

The test was the first of two “stable configuration” test flights, sources told CNBC. “Stable configuration” means that the company does not plan to make significant design changes between the first and second starts.

The second test flight will take place within six weeks, that is, until the end of February. During it, the company will load and unload the crew, sources said. Then, within another six weeks, or by early April, the capsule will go into space with people.

The company’s management has set an ambitious goal of testing New Shepard every six weeks, one of the sources said. But so far, the intervals between flights are much longer: the previous rocket flight took place in October (it was planned for September, but it was postponed), and before that – in December 2019.

New Shepard will deliver space tourists to an altitude of over 100 km. Before returning to Earth, the capsule will spend several minutes in zero gravity. It has massive windows through which passengers can watch the flight. Both the rocket and the capsules can be reused: the steps return to the ground, and the ship descends by parachute.

The company has not yet booked tickets for passenger flights and has not announced how much they will cost. In 2019, a Blue Origin employee told Reuters that the cost of a tourist flight into space on the New Shepard spacecraft will range from $ 200,000 to $ 300,000.

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000. Now the company employs over 3.5 thousand people. Bezos finances Blue Origin with his own funds, gradually selling his Amazon shares. In 2020, he cashed in more than $ 10 billion. Blue Origin successfully launched New Shepard 14 times, in 13 cases in a row, launch vehicles successfully returned to earth.

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin aims to send the first tourists into space in April. On Thursday, January 14, the company successfully completed the 14th test flight of its rocket booster and New Shepard capsule.

The test was the first of two “stable configuration” test flights, sources told CNBC. “Stable configuration” means that the company does not plan to make significant design changes between the first and second starts.

The second test flight will take place within six weeks, that is, until the end of February. During it, the company will load and unload the crew, sources said. Then, within another six weeks, or by early April, the capsule will go into space with people.

The company’s management has set an ambitious goal of testing New Shepard every six weeks, one of the sources said. But so far, the intervals between flights are much longer: the previous rocket flight took place in October (it was planned for September, but it was postponed), and before that – in December 2019.

New Shepard will deliver space tourists to an altitude of over 100 km. Before returning to Earth, the capsule will spend several minutes in zero gravity. It has massive windows through which passengers can watch the flight. Both the rocket and the capsules can be reused: the steps return to the ground, and the ship descends by parachute.

The company has not yet booked tickets for passenger flights and has not announced how much they will cost. In 2019, a Blue Origin employee told Reuters that the cost of a tourist flight into space on the New Shepard spacecraft will range from $ 200,000 to $ 300,000.

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000. Now the company employs over 3.5 thousand people. Bezos finances Blue Origin with his own funds, gradually selling his Amazon shares. In 2020, he cashed in more than $ 10 billion. Blue Origin successfully launched New Shepard 14 times, in 13 cases in a row, launch vehicles successfully returned to earth.

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