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Jeff Bezos Opens Doors To Blue Origin's Headquarters

Jeff Bezos at Blue Origin’s launch facility in West Texas. Photo: Blue Origin
Jeff Bezos at Blue Origin’s launch facility in West Texas. Photo: Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s founder Jeff Bezos says the private space company is on track to launch tourists into space in 2018.

The Amazon founder–turned–rocket man invited journalists to tour the company’s Washington State headquarters. It’s a rare move for the private company. Blue Origin has a reputation for keeping things under wraps.

Journalists such as Space News Reporter Jeff Foust got the chance to see the manufacturing work being done on that rocket. He says the tour was a rare opportunity for outsiders. "It was a really interesting opportunity to go behind the scenes and see exactly what’s going on at a company that has long had the reputation for being a secretive one."

Bezos told reporters the New Shepard Rocket will be ready to take tourists to the edges of space by 2018. Passengers will get to experience weightlessness for a few moments.

The AP reports crewed test flight could happen as soon as next year. Blue Origin has already completed two unpiloted test flights of the New Shepard rocket in Texas.

Bezos plans to manufacture and launch a bigger, orbital rocket – now called “Very Big Brother” – from Cape Canaveral. He’s still keeping details of that rocket close to the vest.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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