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Amazon.com founder Bezos investing in space startup
Posted: Sun, Apr 27, 2003, 3:02 PM ET (1902 GMT)
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Internet retailer Amazon.com, has secretly started a new venture to develop a reusable suborbital spacecraft, according to an article in the latest issue of Newsweek. The report claimed that Bezos founded Blue Origins, also known as Blue Operations LLC, in 2000 to develop a reusable spacecraft to serve the space tourism market. The vehicle, dubbed New Shepard after the late astronaut Alan Shepard, would be a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle capable of carrying seven people on a suborbital trajectory. The cost to develop the vehicle has been estimated at $30 million, according to Newsweek. The vehicle could be ready to fly in the next few years out of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Blue Origins has hired a wide array of people, ranging from physicists to veterans of previous commercial launch vehicle ventures to science fiction author and rocket aficionado Neal Stephenson. While Bezos is best known for founding Amazon.com and turning into the largest Internet retailer, he has had a long interest in space: his high school valedictory address dealt with space colonization, and he was a member of a student space group while attending Princeton University.
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