Technology Blue Origin's space rocket will be ready for riders next year, but tickets are seriously expensive
Blue Origin might not send humans to space until 2020
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin still plans to offer space tourism trips on its New Shepard rocket, but before any passengers take flight, the company is expected to launch at least two more uncrewed test flights. Tuesday, Blue Origin filed an application for its next test flight with the Federal Communications Commission,CNBC reports. The filing is for "Flight #12 on the New Shepard space launch booster and capsule." The earliest it might happen is November.Blue Origin has already carried out 10 successful test flights, including one that launched eight NASA experiments. But the company has yet to deliver on its long-promised crewed flights.
Blue Origin has to back a year to 2020, CEO Bob Smith told CNBC in an interview published Tuesday. The rocket company, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2000, is testing commercial space flights that would take passengers on an 11-minute flight to the boundary of space on its .
"We were planning on this year; unfortunately, it's very unlikely we're going to get in this year. We need a few more flights to make sure that we're all comfortable with the verification," Smith told CNBC. "We hold ourselves to very, very high standards here, we're never going to fly until we're absolutely ready. I think we have a very, very good amount of confidence around the system itself, I think it is working very, very well. But we have to go look at all the analysis, and then convince ourselves that we're ready to go. ... So it probably will be next year."
A NASA astronaut snapped a gorgeous, surreal image of a rocket launch
The view from the International Space Station was stunning.NASA astronaut Christina Koch tweeted an image yesterday (Sept. 25) that she captured of a Soyuz capsule, which took off from Kazakhstan carrying astronauts from the US, Russia and the first one from the United Arab Emirates. The American passenger aboard Soyuz 61 was Jessica Meir, who trained with Koch, Space.com reported.
A ticket to space on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket will initially be priced in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Smith said. "We're going to start at a high price point and go down from there," he added.
Blue Origin will have some competition in the world of space tourism: Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is planning its . However, since both companies have , it remains unclear when exactly that goal will become a reality.
Blue Origin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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