Jeff Be­zos plans new rocket


Ama­ Inc founder Jeff Be­zos un­veiled am­bi­tions for space ex­plo­ration be­yond pro­vid­ing a ride for tourists by an­nounc­ing that Blue Ori­gin LLC plans to build a more pow­er­ful rocket ca­pa­ble of launch­ing com­mer­cial satel­lites and fly­ing peo­ple deeper into space.

Be­zos said his com­pany has been de­vel­op­ing the re­us­able, ver­ti­cal-land­ing booster for four years and ex­pects to make its first launch by the end of the decade. It’s named New Glenn after John Glenn, the for­mer as­tro­naut and US se­na­tor who was the first Amer­i­can to or­bit Earth. The three-stage ver­sion of the rocket is ca­pa­ble of fly­ing far­ther than Blue Ori­gin’sNewShep­ard.

The an­nounce­ment re­veals Be­zos’ am­bi­tions go be­yond ex­pen­sive space tourism flights, po­si­tion­ing Blue Ori­gin to launch satel­lites in­com­pe­ti­tion with Elon Musk’s Space Ex­plo­ration Tech­nolo­gies Corp and Or­bital ATK Inc. It can take a year or longer to get satel­lites used in agri­cul­ture, weather mon­i­tor­ing and other in­dus­tries into lower Earth or­bit due to a lack of ca­pac­ity, and Blue Ori­gin is set­ting its sights on that mar­ket, said Joe Lan­don, chair­man of Space An­gels Net­work, which in­vests in space com­pa­nies.

“There’s a bot­tle­neck to get satel­lites into or­bit,” Lan­don said. “It’s pretty ex­cit­ing to see­how­big and bold their plan is.”

Bezo said Blue Ori­gin’s mas­cot is the tor­toise and its motto is “Gra­da­tim Fe­rociter,” a Latin phrase that he trans­lated as step by step, fe­ro­ciously. Musk’s SpaceX suf­fered a ma­jor set­back 11 days ago with the ex­plo­sion of its Fal­con 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, be­fore a test launch.

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