What Is Blue Origin?

what is blue origin

Blue Origin is a private American spaceflight company with Jeff Bezos as its founder. In simpler terms, it’s a space tourism company that sends tourists to space for commercial purposes. Likewise, Jeff Bezos, the Executive Chairman and ex-CEO of Amazon, founded the company in 2000.

The unique thing about Blue Origin, which makes it different from the competition, is using reusable rockets. The company aims to make access to space cheaper and more reliable by using reusable launch vehicles.

The Mission

spaceflight blue origin

Blue Origin’s website says it wants to fly astronauts to space on New Shepard, the rocket they designed. Moreover, they want to produce reusable liquid rocket engines, create a highly-reusable orbital launch vehicle and put more people on the moon.

Bezos wants to do more than fly tourists to space. He wants to use the New Shepard rocket’s trips to fund more projects to develop space travel. Consequently, the world’s richest man has the vision to pave the way for humans to establish settlements in space.

Furthermore, the company is developing a larger, more powerful, and reusable rocket called New Glenn (named after John Glenn). John Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth. The company aims to make the new Glenn carry heavier loads into Earth’s orbit.

Past milestones and Blue Origin’s future

jeff bezos

Blue Origin’s first successful mission in 2015 made history when it launched and landed a reusable rocket. Since then, the company has completed various missions and worked with other industries to further develop private space travel.

Jeff Bezos went to space and came back on Blue Origin’s first passenger spaceflight back in July 2021. Likewise, the New Shepard rocket was a part of the passenger spaceflight. This makes them one of the few people who participated in private spaceflights.

Another private spaceflight company called Virgin Galactic launched a passenger spaceflight into space before Blue Origin, but some technicalities prove that it didn’t reach space. Virgin’s rocket didn’t go above the Kármán line (100 kilometers above sea level), and Blue Origin’s rocket did.

“Our vision is for millions of people living and working in space, and the new Glenn is a very important step. It won’t be the last, of course,” Jeff Bezos told Business Insider in 2016.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

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