Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin To Launch Space Shuttle This Summer

    February 29, 2012

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is more than just the boss of one of the world’s biggest e-businesses. He’s also a venture capitalist in the field of space exploration.

Blue Origin, the space travel venture owned by Bezos, is preparing to test out a new system for aborting a launch, perhaps as soon as this summer. Bezos’ company received an award from NASA as part of the space program’s commercial development program in order to develop a new launch system that deviates from the traditional rockets that are used to boost a shuttle into the air. The rocket, called New Shepard, utilizes rocket motors that are attached to the bottom of the crew capsule. From Flightglobal:

The New Shepard rocket is designed to reach apogee at approximately 100km, at which point a capsule will separate and continue on an upward trajectory. The now capsule-less rocket will tip over, deploying a flared surface to improve stability and increase drag, firing its engines just above the Earth’s surface to land gently back at its launch pad.

This summer’s launch would mark the second attempt by Blue Origin to innovate the new capsule detachment mechanism.

This will mark the second attempt that Blue Origin has made with launching its shuttle, New Shepard. Check out the videos below to see the previous launch tests the company’s conducted.

Prior to this endeavor, Virgin media mogul Richard Branson is perhaps the other most notable venture capitalist to try explore the possibility of a privatized space travel program. Do you think these sorts of projects help develop space exploration as a whole, or should these guys just leave this stuff to NASA? Comment below with your thoughts.