History of Blue Origin: How Jeff Bezos’ Love of Space Sent Humans 66 Miles Above the Earth’s Surface

Blue Origin made history on Tuesday by launching the richest, oldest and youngest person into space aboard its New Shepard rocket, but before the space company added space tourism to its list of services, it was nothing more than an idea on paper.

Jeff Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 to pursue a childhood dream of spaceflight and build a society of millions of people living and working in space.

In a 1982 Miami Herald interview, which he gave after he was named high school valedictorian, the then 18-year-old said he wanted to “build space hotels, amusement parks, and colonies for two or three million people who find themselves in orbit.” would be around the earth. ‘

“The whole idea is to conserve the Earth,” he told the newspaper… The goal was to be able to evacuate people. The planet would become a park.’

The idea of ​​Blue Origin came about in 1999 after Bezos saw the film October Sky, a film about a schoolchild who wants to build rockets, and the space company was born just a year later.

It took 15 years for Bezos’ company to make New Shepard’s first successful launch and landing, but today that rocket has him, his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, who becomes the youngest person in space, and former NASA executive. intern Wally Funk. , 82, becoming the oldest, 66 miles above the Earth’s surface.

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Blue Origin made history (pictured) on Tuesday by launching the richest, oldest and youngest person into space aboard its New Shepard rocket, but before the space company added space tourism to its list of services, it was nothing more than an idea on paper

Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but was adopted at age four by his stepfather, Mike Bezos, when his last name was changed.

His mother, Jacklyn, was 17 years old when she gave birth to Bezos and his father, Ted Jorgensen, owned a local bike shop in town.

His parents married after news that Jacklyn was pregnant, but divorced in 1965.

She met a Cuban immigrant named Miguel ‘Mike’ Bezo and the two married – Mike officially adopted Bezos in April 1968.

Jeff Bezos (second from left) founded Blue Origin in 2000 to pursue a childhood dream of spaceflight, which evolved into a goal that aims to form a new society of millions of people living and working in the latter frontier. .  Pictured are Oliver Daemen (left), Mark Bezos (second from right) and Wally Funk (right), who joined Tuesday's mission

Jeff Bezos (second from left) founded Blue Origin in 2000 to pursue a childhood dream of spaceflight, which evolved into a goal that aims to form a new society of millions of people living and working in the latter frontier. . Pictured are Oliver Daemen (left), Mark Bezos (second from right) and Wally Funk (right), who joined Tuesday’s mission

While Tuesday’s New Shepard rocket is the star, it was Blue Origin’s Goddard rocket that started it all.

Goddard was the first development vehicle in Blue Origin’s New Shepard program that first flew on November 13, 2006, but has since been retired.

The craft used nine clustered peroxide-powered rocket engines to make sub-orbital flights, and it was essentially a proof-of-concept testbed and demonstration article to demonstrate the company’s intent.

It was named in honor of Robert Goddard, who is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion.

Bezos began work on a new rocket that was a vertical takeoff and landing spaceship, which he named New Shepard after Alan Shepard, the first American in space.

New Shepard is powered by a single BE-3 liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen rocket engine and is 19 meters high.

The rocket was first launched on April 29, 2015 from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in Van Horn, Texas, and was the milestone Bezos needed to begin his space tourism business.

In video released by Blue Origin, the booster — using liquid hydrogen and oxygen — lifts the New Shepard vehicle to an altitude of 88 miles.

This was four miles from the official boundary of space, which New Shepard cleared on Tuesday.

The idea of ​​the space company came about in 1999, after Bezos saw the film October Sky, which is about a schoolchild who wants to build rockets, and Blue Origin was born just a year later.

The idea of ​​the space company came about in 1999, after Bezos saw the film October Sky, which is about a schoolchild who wants to build rockets, and Blue Origin was born just a year later.

While Tuesday's New Shepard rocket is the star, it was Blue Origin's Goddard rocket that started it all.  Goddard was the first development vehicle in Blue Origin's New Shepard program to first flew on November 13, 2006, but has since been retired

While Tuesday’s New Shepard rocket is the star, it was Blue Origin’s Goddard rocket that started it all. Goddard was the first development vehicle in Blue Origin’s New Shepard program to first flew on November 13, 2006, but has since been retired

Bezos began work on a new rocket that was a vertical takeoff and landing spaceship, which he named New Shepard after Alan Shepard, the first American in space.  It was first launched on April 29, 2015 (pictured)

Bezos began work on a new rocket that was a vertical takeoff and landing spaceship, which he named New Shepard after Alan Shepard, the first American in space. It was first launched on April 29, 2015 (pictured)

“The space separation of the crew pod from the propulsion module was perfect,” Bezos said in a blog post.

“All the astronauts on board would have had a very nice trip to space and had a smooth return.”

Along with New Shepard, Blue Origin also has its trusty New Glenn rocket launching later this year or early 2022.

The company hopes to use this rocket to launch crew capsules into orbit.

Following the trend of Blue Origin’s other rockets, New Glenn is named after Mercury astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth during his Friendship 7 flight.

Bezos also had his sights set on sending humans to the moon and unveiled the Blue Origins lander on May 9, 2019.

Bezos also had his sights set on sending humans to the moon and unveiled Blue Origins lander on May 9, 2019

Bezos also had his sights set on sending humans to the moon and unveiled Blue Origins lander on May 9, 2019

The plan could eventually serve as a stepping stone for moon colonization and deeper space targets, Bezos suggested.

Blue Origin was in the running for a contract with NASA to build a lunar lander that will send the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface, but lost it to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

However, the Bezos-owned company protested NASA’s decision, and SpaceX was told to stop building a lunar spacecraft pending the outcome of challenges from rival bidders to the Government Accountability Office.

NASA’s decision means that SpaceX must suspend all work specifically related to the lunar program contract until the GAO makes a ruling, no later than August 4.

While it's not clear if Bezos will ever go to the moon, he can say he has ventured just beyond the edge of space.  The crew departed at 9:12 a.m. ET and experienced about four minutes of weightlessness, before returning to Earth to land in Texas.

While it’s not clear if Bezos will ever go to the moon, he can say he has ventured just beyond the edge of space. The crew departed at 9:12 a.m. ET and experienced about four minutes of weightlessness, before returning to Earth to land in Texas.

While the new astronauts enjoyed their time in space, the booster returned to the landing pad for use on a future flight.  On landing, Jeff Bezos described it as the 'best day ever' when asked for a 'status check'

While the new astronauts enjoyed their time in space, the booster returned to the landing pad for use on a future flight. On landing, Jeff Bezos described it as the ‘best day ever’ when asked for a ‘status check’

While it’s not clear if Bezos will ever go to the moon, he can say he has ventured just beyond the edge of space.

The crew departed at 9:12 a.m. ET and experienced about four minutes of weightlessness, before returning to Earth to land in Texas.

While the new astronauts enjoyed their time in space, the booster returned to the landing pad for use on a future flight.

Upon landing, Jeff Bezos described it as the “best day ever” when asked for a “status check.”

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