Amazon Owner, Jeff Bezos Plans To Take Tourists To Space, Announces New Launch Date

One-day richest man in the world and owner of e-commerce outfit, Amazon, Jeff Bezos is masterminding an evolution in transportation sort of, with rockets being designed to take tourists into space, and they will be ready by 2019, according to him.

Space is set to be just another journey for people if this project gets successful as a Blue Origin rocket could take tourists to space by April 2019.

Bob Smith, the CEO of the space outfit founded by Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) masterminded by business tycoon and billionaire Jeff Bezos who pipped Bill Gates to be the richest in the world recently, albeit, for less than 24 hours. He mentioned the new timeline during the first meeting of the newly revamped National Space Council on Thursday.

That’s a later date than Blue Origin had touted in the past. Just a year ago, the company’s president, Rob Meyerson, said the first launch with passengers would be sometime in 2018.

In a statement to CNN on Thursday, Blue Origin insisted its “internal dates have not shifted,” but added, “we will fly humans when we’re ready, and not a moment sooner.”

The National Space Council, which has been given a lift under the Trump administration after a twenty-year hiatus, includes Vice President Mike Pence and various other government officials. Its goal is to help bring together space exploration and national security efforts by the public and private sectors.

Smith spoke briefly to the panel about Blue Origin’s plans to take paying customers to space.

“Within the next 18 months we’re going to be launching humans into space,” he said. “These won’t be astronauts…these will be everyday citizens.”

A launch in 2019 would put Blue Origin’s first space tourism trip slightly behind its closest competitor SpaceX, which is headed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. War of billions, isn’t it?

SpaceX plans to take two tourists on a trip to the moon sometime in the last quarter of 2018. SpaceX made a confirmation of this on Thursday that date hasn’t been changed since the company first announced those plans back in February.

However, Elon Musk and Tesla have been known to set very ambitious deadlines with disrespect to modesty, but it works absolutely for them.

In the grand scheme of things, SpaceX and Blue Origin have very dissimilar strategies for space tourism.

For Blue Origin, sending paying customers to space is part of the bedrock of its early business strategy.

The company is interested in conducting frequent launches to the edge of space — where passengers can briefly experience weightlessness and marvel at the view. (So far, the company has only conducted unmanned test launches of its New Shepherd rocket.)

Blue Origin’s view is to make it relatively cheap for an average human to enjoy spaceflight, though Blue Origin hasn’t yet shown exactly how much tickets will cost. The revenue that will be made from ticket sales is supposed to help fund the company’s future endeavours, such as launching satellites into space.

Bezos also informed reporters in April that he sells about $1 billion worth of his Amazon shares every year in order to keep Blue Origin stocked with cash, according to Reuters.

SpaceX is in some sense doing the opposite. The company already has a lucrative business delivering satellites to space and sending cargo to the International Space Station

Meanwhile, SpaceX’s moon trip appears to be a one-off commitment the company made to two people. SpaceX has not stated how much it’s charging the passengers — though it’s without doubts a huge sum, likely millions of dollars.

Blue Origin does have plans to build a much more powerful rocket, called New Glenn, that will be capable of competing with SpaceX for satellite launch contracts.

Smith, the Blue Origin CEO, said Thursday that the factory where New Glenn will be manufactured will likely be completed by the end of the year. But even after it’s built, the company will have to complete the long, tedious process of certifying the rocket to fly.

Bezos has said the first launch of that rocket will be in 2020 as he continues to put his hands in different projects of great interest to mankind.

Just recently, Bezos’ Amazon launched his e-groceries stores that have been chasing bigger outfits like Targett and made the retail business a more competitive one. Being a conservative businessman who doesn’t have a lot of charity programmes draining his account, Bezos may rise in no long time to be the richest man in the world especially if the rocket endeavour nicks the bud.

 

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