Category: Blue Origin

June 6, 2019 Off

Jeff Bezos wants to build the infrastructure for space startups

By Jill T Frey

At its re:Mars conference, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos took the stage today to be “interviewed” by Jenny Freshwater, Amazon’s director of forecasting. As any AWS machine learning tool could have forecasted, having an employee interview her boss didn’t lead to any challenging questions or especially illuminating answers, but Bezos did get a chance to talk about a variety of topics, ranging from business advice to his plans for Blue Origin.

We can safely ignore the business advice, given that Amazon’s principle of “disagree and commit” is about as well known as it could be, but his comments about Blue Origin, his plans for moon exploration and its relationship to startups were quite interesting.

He noted that we now know so much more about the moon than ever before, including that it does provide a number of resources that make it a good base for further space exploration. “The reason … Read the rest

May 17, 2019 Off

Blue Origin and SpaceX get million-dollar NASA nod to test Moon lander tech

By Jill T Frey

Eleven aerospace companies will share more than $45 million in funds from NASA to design and test prototypes for the Artemis Moon missions, the agency has announced. Among the established names like Northrop Grumman and Sierra Nevada are relative newcomers SpaceX and Blue Origin, looking to make a place for themselves on the agency’s biggest push in decades.

The funds are to enable what NASA calls undefinitized contract actions, in which partners get to work before negotiations on the rest of the contract have concluded. It basically shows that time is of the essence and that NASA is willing to pay up front to someone they may not even contract with later, just to get a jump start on the work that needs doing.

And what’s the work? They’ll be cooking up designs and prototypes for the Human Landing System, which as you might guess will take astronauts (and … Read the rest

May 10, 2019 Off

Blue Moon Brewing is capitalizing on Bezos’ news with a lunar lander keg

By Jill T Frey

Every so often, a big corporation manages to play the news cycle just right. Generally such things aren’t recommended and can fairly easily backfire, but the MillerCoors-owned Blue Moon Brewery would have been silly not to have capitalized on yesterday’s big announcement from Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin.

The company fired off a silly tweet yesterday and is doubling down with the announcement of a limited edition keg “inspired” by the newly announced Blue Moon lunar lander. It’s set for a release in July, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

As for what it will look like — the above is clearly just a mock-up. One assumes Bezos and co. will have to play along if the thing is going to look like Blue Origin’s model, with a couple of taps up … Read the rest

May 10, 2019 Off

Watch Jeff Bezos unveil his grand space plans here

By Jill T Frey

Grizzled TechCrunch reporter Matt Burns was onsite at yesterday’s big Blue Origin reveal, but if you’re reading this right now, odds are you weren’t. It was a small gathering, and Jeff Bezos, who tends to be fairly secret for such a public billionaire, opted not to live stream the fairly intimate press conference.

The full event is now online, however. You can check that out right here:

The TLDW of all of it is that, well, Earth f*****g rules, man. It’s totally the best planet in the solar system, at least so far as sustaining life is concerned. As such, we’re going to be dependent on this little blue marble for a long while, even as human population and energy consumption push its resources to the brink.

Bezos unveiled some pretty sci-fi sounding plans for off-world industries. In the meantime, however, Blue Origin says it can help the U.S. … Read the rest

May 9, 2019 Off

Blue Origin launches ‘Club for the Future’ to inspire a new generation of space exploration

By Jill T Frey

As part of his big reveal of Blue Origin’s new lunar lander, “Blue Moon,” Jeff Bezos announced Club for the Future, a new organization to inspire a new generation of space explorers and entrepreneurs.

The new organization, open to educators, parents and children in kindergarten through high school, seems designed to integrate educational lessons with Blue Origin missions.

“Club members’ ideas combined with a foundation of affordable, frequent, and reliable access to space, will help spark a future without limits,” reads the website’s exhortation to new members.” Dream. Experiment. Build. As we grow, look out for new activities, content, and opportunities to access space.”

The first project is to “receive a postcard from space.”

All participants need to do is draw or write a vision for the future of life in space on the blank side of a self-addressed, stamped postcard, and send it to “Club for the … Read the rest

May 9, 2019 Off

Blue Origin unveils its lunar lander, Blue Moon

By Jill T Frey

Today at an intimate event in Washington, DC, Jeff Bezos took the wraps off some grand space plans. But that future, which includes trips to the lunar surface, isn’t much without the gear to get it there.

Among the more impressive unveils was Blue Moon, a new lunar lander. Bezos unveiled the vehicle, which was hidden behind a curtain for much of the event. “This is an incredible vehicle,” he told the crowd, “and it’s going to the Moon.” Powered by liquid hydrogen, the lander has an on-board system capable of navigating in space. It also utilizes gigabit internet to communicate back to Earth using a laser. 

Micro-satellites can also be strapped to the top of the rover and deployed in lunar orbit.

Blue Moon features an on-board lidar system capable of mapping lunar terrain, in order to choose the right landing site. According to Bezos, the system uses … Read the rest

May 9, 2019 Off

Jeff Bezos aims Blue Origin at the Moon

By Jill T Frey

Today at a packed event blocks from the White House, Jeff Bezos took the stage in front of select members of the media, executives, government officials and a gaggle of middle schoolers to reveal new details of his plan to get to the Moon by 2024

Blue Origin is going to send humans to space on New Shepard later this year and has unveiled a lunar lander, called “Blue Moon,” to access the resource-rich lunar surface, Bezos said.

Setting the stage with Neil Armstrong’s famous words as the first man to walk on the moon, Bezos took to the stage to explain his vision of answering a very simple question. Given the finite resources available to humanity, “where would a trillion humans live?”

It’s a vision that Bezos has articulated before.

For Bezos, the only impediment to this space … Read the rest

May 9, 2019 Off

Jeff Bezos reportedly set to unveil Moon plans today

By Jill T Frey

Blue Origin is hosting a media event later today in Washington, D.C. TechCrunch will be on the ground, reporting live, though details around precisely what will be announced are still pretty minimal. According to new reporting from Reuters, however, boss-man Jeff Bezos is set to unveil his plans to help the U.S. government establish a lunar outpost over the next five years.

That word arrives via “people familiar with the matter.” Blue Origin hasn’t responded yet — though we’ve only got to wait until around 4PM ET time to find out what the company will reveal via its “update on our progress and share our vision of going to space to benefit Earth.”

The subject is nothing new for Bezos and Blue Origin, of course. This time last year, the world’s richest man discussed his hopes for space travel. “In the not-too-distant future — I’m talking decades, maybe … Read the rest

May 1, 2019 Off

Blue Origin lofts NASA and student experiments in New Shepard tomorrow morning

By Jill T Frey

The 11th mission for Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle is slated for takeoff Thursday morning. The craft will be carrying 38 (!) experimental payloads from NASA, students and research organizations around the world. You’ll be able to watch the launch live tomorrow at about 6 AM Pacific time.

New Shepard, though a very different beast from the Falcon 9 and Heavy launch vehicles created by its rival SpaceX, is arguably a better platform for short-duration experiments that need to be exposed to launch stresses and microgravity. Launching satellites — that’s a job for Falcons and Deltas, or perhaps Blue Origin’s impending New Glenn, and they’re welcome to it. But researchers around the country are clamoring for spots on suborbital flights and Blue Origin is happy to provide them.

Read the rest