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Bezos Says Blue Origin Will Not Make Satellites

By Pat Host | April 13, 2016
      Blue Origin Orbital Vehicle

      Jeff Bezos revealing Blue Origin’s new reusable orbital launch vehicle in September 2015. Photo: NASA Screenshot

      [Via Satellite 04-13-2016] Blue Origin will not make satellites, though the company’s orbital vehicle will be available to launch such spacecraft, founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday, April 12 at the 32nd Space Symposium.

      Bezos said Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine will be the company’s contribution to national security space. United Launch Alliance (ULA), the Lockheed Martin and Boeing joint venture, is planning to use the BE-4 on its next generation Vulcan launch system.

      Bezos said the company currently has that orbital vehicle in development. Blue Origin’s New Shepard, which recently achieved its third launch and landing, is a suborbital vehicle and uses the BE-3 engine. Bezos said the company refurbished the engine without removing it from the vehicle. He said Blue Origin spent just a few thousand dollars on refurbishment.

      Bezos expects to have humans in space on Blue Origin vehicles soon. He said he wants test astronauts in space in 2017 and paid astronauts in space by 2018.

      Bezos also founded the wildly successful Amazon, which really broke into the e-commerce marketplace through book sales. Bezos said suborbital space tourism may be the “books” for Blue Origin. He said space tourism will exercise all the systems involved with space infrastructure.

      The original version of this story was published on Defense Daily, a Via Satellite sister publication covering the global defense market intelligence in land, sea, air, and space initiatives.