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.