As Blue Origin aims for a human launch by the end of the year, the future space-tourism company released a video calling for reusability to lower the cost of spaceflight.
In the new video, Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explains how he first got inspired by spaceflight. Bezos remembers Neil Armstrong landing on the moon in 1969, when Bezos was just 5 years old.
"I've been passionate about space, rockets, rocket engines, space travel," Bezo said during a montage of historical clips of spaceflight. "I think we all have passions, and you don't get to choose them. They pick you. But you have to be alert to them. You have to be looking for them." [How Blue Origin's New Shepard Spaceship Works (Infographic)]
Calling Earth "the best planet," Bezos said our population is facing a choice — to move forward into space or to remain on Earth in a situation where we will have to stay in "stasis," with a capped population and energy usage. But the long-standing issue of space travel is cost, he acknowledged.
"The incredible opportunity is reusability," Bezos continued during footage showing past Blue Origin missions, including a clip showing a rocket landing by itself — the first step to having it ready for another spaceflight. He said that just like commercial aviation, spaceflight needs "operational, realistic, practical, pragmatic reusability … that's the key."
Blue Origin released the video Friday (Feb. 1), about a week after the company announced that it is considering a crewed flight by the end of 2019. Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital rocket completed its 10th uncrewed test flight on Jan. 23, in preparation for future space-tourism flights. The company is also working on a heavy-lift rocket called New Glenn, which is supposed to fly in 2021.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace