Rocket Company Blue Origin Says It’s Close to Taking You to Space
Space tourism may be closer than you think: Rocket company Blue Origin announced on March 8 that it will be launching its first test flights in 2017 and hopes to have tourists on board as early as 2018, according to Popular Science.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founded the company and has been secretly working on the project since 2005. He finally opened the doors to his Washington State headquarters on Tuesday, allowing some media to get a first glimpse into what the company hopes is the future of space travel.
Their goal is to take tourists approximately 62 miles above the surface of the Earth, where they will be able to experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet. If all goes well during initial testing, Bezos is confident it could be in business a year later.
While a few companies are currently competing in the private space business, including SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin already has made several distinct advances in the field. They successfully launched a rocket named New Shepard a few times, and even managed to re-launch it after landing—becoming the first company to reuse a rocket booster.
Up next is another test flight out of their facility in Texas, with the company set to release more information later this year about its larger Vulcan rocket that will launch out of Cape Canaveral. Though Blue Origin is hopeful for a 2018 launch date, they’ve pushed out previous timetables a few times before and tickets are not currently on sale.