Blue Origin started to lose its mysterious aura and for the first time invited journalists for press conference and tour in their headquarters and development facility in Kent, Washington. New facts about future plans of Blue Origin were unveiled by Jeff Bezos himself.
Blue Origin is again in the forehead of the something what could be called “reusability space race”. After first in the world successful landing of space rocket in November 23, 2015 and repeating this on January 22, 2016, Blue Origin is truly leader of implementing reusable technology. Now it seems that Jeff Bezos would like to begin reaping the fruits of his work as soon as possible.
Jeff Bezos during tour around facility was answering for questions from journalists. He was not hiding the fact that he would like to start commercial flights in 2018 with first experimental manned flight on 2017. However he put great stress on matter of safe which is crucial for commercial success. Bezos stated that:
“I want us to be safe. If we end up being first that would be fine. But that’s not the goal,”
The goal for Jeff Bezos is performing about one hundred commercial flights per year – one hundred safety flights what makes one flight every three days. It is more than satisfying level of availability for first large scale space touristic venture. If we multiply 100 flights with number of passengers which could remain in the New Shepard capsule we will get 600 space tourists per year. Even counting half price offered by Virgin Galactic (Virgin offers price for ticket for one flight at $250000) and multiplying it by 600 it will give $75 million per year. It is serious profit but it is only fraction of costs which were covered by Jeff Bezos during establishing and further development of Blue Origin.
Approach of Jeff Bezos to starting commercial activity is serious. Presently Blue Origin employs around 600 people and this number is planned to be raised to 1000 employees in late 2016. Also Blue Origin planned to increase number of capsules for their “New Shepard” touristic spacecraft up to six in the end of 2016. They will be manufactured in their Kent facility along with the BE-4 engines for Vulcan rocket developed by United Launch Alliance. Jeff Bezos is keeping in mind his second great project – rocket engine BE-4. In Kent facility he planned to develop this construction and start production. Contracting engines for Vulcan rocket seems future source of big money for Blue Origin and surely it is future of Blue Origin.
On picture above: Earth seen from edge of space – this view is worth all money of the world isn’t it?