Watch Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin NS-19 stay: First six passenger crew

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin will launch its New Shepard rocket on Saturday for the sixth time this year, a mission in which the company will launch six passengers simultaneously for the first time.

Named NS-19, this New Shepard mission will bring a crew of two guests and four customers: astronaut Alan Shepard’s daughter, Laura Shepard Churchley, TV presenter and NFL star Michael Strahan, space manager Dylan Taylor, investor Evan Dick, the venture capitalist Lane Bess and his son Cameron Bess.

The company is currently aiming for NS-19 to launch at 9:45 a.m. EST.

The NS-19 crew takes a look at their journey into space. From left: Laura Shepard Churchley, Michael Strahan, Evan Dick, Lane Bess, Cameron Bess and Dylan Taylor.

Blue origin

The NS-19 mission will bring Blue Origin to 14 people launching into space in 2021. The year has seen a spate of private manned space activity, with three US companies taking passengers over the edge of space or into orbit.

The rocket will launch from Blue Origin’s private facility in West Texas and reach over 100,000 kilometers (or more than 340,000 feet in altitude) before safely returning to Earth a few minutes later. From start to finish, the launch is expected to take around 11 minutes. The crew should experience weightlessness for about three minutes.

New Shepard’s capsule will accelerate to more than three times the speed of sound to exceed the 80-kilometer (roughly 50 miles) limit that the U.S. is using to mark the edge of space. The capsule is flown autonomously without a human pilot and returns under a set of parachutes to land in the Texas desert.

The New Shepard rocket booster is reusable and will attempt to return and land on a concrete platform near the launch site.

The company also flies New Shepard for cargo missions, as in Augustcarrying research payloads in the capsule.

This photo of Blue Origin, Blue Origins New Shepard rocket, is on a launch pad near Van Horn, Texas on Tuesday July 20, 2021.

Blue origin | Reuters

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin unveils Orbital Reef personal area station

WASHINGTON – Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin announced on Monday its plan for a private space station called “Orbital Reef”, which is to be built in collaboration with several space companies and is expected to be deployed between 2025 and 2030.

Blue Origin describes the Orbital Reef station, which would be habitable for up to 10 people, as a “mixed-use business park” in space – as well as “exotic hospitality” for space tourists.

Orbital Reef is designed to have almost as much habitable volume as the International Space Station.

The company’s primary partner for the station is Sierra Space, a subsidiary of aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corporation Boeing, Redwire room and Genesis Engineering.

“We are only just beginning to understand the enormous impact microgravity research, development and manufacturing can have, not just on universe exploration and discovery, but also on improving life on earth,” said Mike Gold, executive vice President of Redwire, opposite CNBC.

Redwire Space’s shares were temporarily held on the New York Stock Exchange after rising following the announcement. The stock rose as much as 40% in trading but gave up most of the gains and ended the day 8% higher at $ 13.14.

A rendering of the space station “Ocean Reef” in orbit.

Blue origin

Blue Origin will provide the “utility systems” and “core modules” of the space station and plans to launch Orbital Reef with its New Glenn rocket.

Sierra Space is contributing its LIFE (Large Integrated Flexible Environment; essentially an inflatable space station module) and plans to use its Dream Chaser spacecraft to transport cargo and crew to and from the station.

Redwire room, which went public in September, will carry out the station’s payload operations and build operational structures. Redwire also plans to use Orbital Reef for microgravity research, development and manufacturing.

Boeing will build Orbital Reef’s science-based module and operate the station and perform maintenance engineering. The aerospace giant also plans to use it his Starliner capsule for the transport of crew and cargo to the station.

Genesis Engineering will bring in its “Single Person Spacecraft” system, which the company is calling as an alternative to a spacesuit.

In a conference call with reporters, executives from the team’s companies declined to reveal how much each of them would like to invest in Orbital Reef.

Blue Origin Vice President Brent Sherwood said the team will not give a “specific number” on how much the Orbital Reef space station will cost, adding that the financial numbers are commercially sensitive.

Bezos’ company has been considering building a space station for more than a year since CNBC previously reported, and added a number of job postings for his Orbital Destinations team earlier this month.

Bezos’ vision: living and working in space

Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin’s space exploration plans in Washington, the United States, on May 9, 2019.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

The space station race is heating up

Blue Origin intends to compete for one of NASA’s anticipated contracts for the Commercial LEO Destinations program, but Bezos’ company is not alone. NASA’s director of commercial space, Phil McAlister, told CNBC last month that the program had received “about a dozen proposals” from a variety of companies for contracts.

With NASA planning to decommission the International Space Station by the end of the decade, the CLD program represents an attempt to turn to private companies for new space stations – with the space agency expecting to save more than $ 1 billion annually.

“We are in a second golden age in space exploration and development,” said Redwire’s Gold.

Last week, another private space station was announced by a separate team of companies: Nanoracks, Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin are building a station called Starlab, which is scheduled to go into operation by 2027.

Starlab is to be manned by up to four astronauts, which corresponds to about a third of the volume of the ISS.

Concept drawing of a space station “Starlab”

Nanoracks

NASA has already started funding a company’s ambitions under a separate contract from the CLD program after Axiom Space with $ 140 million. Axiom plans to build modules that will be connected to the ISS. When the ISS retired, Axiom would then dismantle its modules and turn it into a free-flying space station.

An illustration of three of the company’s modules connected to the International Space Station.

Axiom space

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches William Shatner to house and again

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launched its New Shepard rocket for the fifth time this year on Wednesday, and Canadian actor William Shatner joined the company’s second manned spaceflight to date.

This New Shepard mission, called NS-18, led a crew of four: Shatner, Blue Origin VP of Mission and Flight Operations Audrey Powers, Planet Labs co-founder Chris Boshuizen, and Medidata co-founder Glen de Vries.

It took off at about 10:50 a.m. ET.

The crew of NS-18, from left: Audrey Powers, William Shatner, Dr. Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries.

Blue origin

Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original television series “Star Trek”, is 90 years old and the oldest person to fly into space, starting with a crew in July.

The rocket launched from Blue Origin’s private facility in West Texas and reached over 100,000 kilometers (or more than 340,000 feet in altitude) before safely returning to Earth a few minutes later. The start took about 11 minutes from start to finish. The crew experienced weightlessness for about three minutes.

Star Trek actor William Shatner, along with former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, clinical research entrepreneur Glen de Vries, and Blue Origin Vice President and Engineer Audrey Powers receives NS-18 from Blue prior to their suborbital flight on New Shepard’s NS-18 mission Origin near Van Horn, Texas, USA in a still from a video broadcast on October 13, 2021.

Blue origin | Reuters

The New Shepard capsule accelerated to more than three times the speed of sound to exceed the 80-kilometer (about 50 miles) limit that the U.S. uses to mark the edge of space. The capsule will be flown autonomously without a human pilot and returned under a set of parachutes for landing in the Texas desert.

The New Shepard rocket booster is also reusable and landed on a concrete platform near the launch site. NS-18 was the fourth take-off and landing for this booster.

The company also flies New Shepard for cargo missions, as in Augustcarrying research payloads in the capsule.

The NS-18 crew returns in the New Shepard capsule.

Blue origin

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin: Essay claims ‘poisonous’ office

Jeff Bezos

Elif Öztürk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

According to an article published Thursday, 21 current and former employees of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin claim the space company is a “toxic” place to work.

Led by former Blue Origin Head of Employee Communications, Alexandra Abrams, the paper claims that the The company urges workers to sign strict nondisclosure agreements, suppresses internal feedback, ignores safety concerns, and creates a sexist environment for women. There were also examples of alleged sexual harassment.

“I’m far enough from that that I’m not afraid to silence myself about them,” Abrams said in a CBS interview that aired Thursday.

The essay was posted on the Lioness website on Thursday. It was signed by Abrams and said it was endorsed by 20 other current and former employees whose names were not listed.

In response to CNBC’s request for comment, Linda Mills, Blue Origin’s vice president of communications, said Abrams was “dismissed for cause” in 2019 “after repeated warnings about issues related to federal export control regulations.”

In response to Blue Origin, Abrams said in a statement to CNBC that it has “never received any verbal or written warnings from management regarding issues related to federal export control regulations.”

Abrams admitted in the CBS interview that she was fired from Blue Origin. She told CBS Mornings that she was “shocked” when she was fired, but her manager said, “Bob and I can no longer trust you,” referring to CEO Bob Smith. According to her LinkedIn account, she now works in employee communications for a large software company.

Alleged sexism and harassment

The essay stated that “gender gaps are common among the aerospace workforce,” but claimed that “they are also manifested in a certain type of sexism at Blue Origin”.

There were two examples from the management level. It was alleged that a “senior executive in the loyal inner circle of CEO Bob Smith” has been repeatedly reported to the company’s human resources department on allegations of sexual harassment. Despite the allegations, the essay states that Smith made the executive a member of Blue Origin’s recruitment committee when the company was in a senior human resources role.

In the second example, a former executive is said to have humiliated women, “called them ‘Baby Girl’, ‘Baby Doll’ or ‘Sweetheart’ and asked about their dating life.” The essay claims that Blue Origin would warn new female employees not to stay away from the executive who allegedly had a “close personal relationship with Bezos.”

“He physically groped a female subordinate so that he could finally be released,” claims the essay.

Mills said in her statement that “Blue Origin has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind”.

“We are offering a variety of options to our employees, including a 24/7 anonymous hotline, and will promptly investigate any new allegations of misconduct,” added Mills.

Blue Origin is headquartered in Kent, Washington.

Blue origin

Blue Origin has also stepped up its use of strict nondisclosure agreements, the article said, and in 2019 urged all employees to sign new contracts with a non-degradation clause, both current and former employees asserted. The letter quoted a senior program director with decades in the aerospace and defense industries who claimed that “working at Blue Origin was the worst experience of my life.”

FAA is investigating security allegations

Safety concerns are another important part of the essay, which claims that “some of the engineers who keep the missiles safe” have either been ousted or paid off after internal criticism.

The paper said that last year Blue Origin’s leadership showed “increasing impatience” with the low airspeed of its suborbital New Shepard rocket, and said the company’s team had to go from “a few flights a year … to more.” than 40 “jump.

“When Jeff Bezos went into space this July, we didn’t share his enthusiasm. Instead, many of us watched with overwhelming discomfort. Some of us couldn’t stand it at all, ”the essay says. “Competing with fellow billionaires – and ‘making progress for Jeff’ – seemed to take precedence over security concerns that would have slowed the schedule.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to CNBC Thursday that it is reviewing the safety concerns expressed in the essay.

“The FAA takes every security allegation seriously,” the regulator said in a statement.

The paper claims that environmental concerns were a minor concern at the company, with implications for local ecology and required permits after “the machines showed up” at Blue Origin’s Kent, Washington, facility.

Additionally, Blue Origin’s Kent headquarters – which opened last year – is not a LEED certified building, according to the essay, and claims that it was “built on wetlands drained for construction”.

Blue Origin’s Mills’ statement to CNBC did not address these other issues.

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How Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic house race might influence the ambiance

Billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos will launch with three crew members aboard a New Shepard rocket on the world’s first unattended suborbital flight from Blue Origin Launch Site 1 near Van Horn, Texas on July 20, 2021.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

The space industry is taking off after decades of stagnation.

Driven primarily by the rapidly evolving space programs of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and China, the world experienced 114 orbital launches in 2018 – the first three-digit number since 1990. This year, the orbital launches are slated to be for the first time since the 1970s. And that count doesn’t include Jeff Bezos’ most recent suborbital tourism trips Blue origin and Richard Bransons Virgo galactic.

Between planning NASA Moon return, SpaceX is constructing a massive “mega-constellation” of Internet satellite, China Crew of a space station and suborbital companies sending crews of tourists to the edge of space, launches could soon be the order of the day.

But will the new space boom have its price on the planet?

“While we obviously need space launches and satellites, when you think about things like space tourism, you think about the environmental impact,” says Ian Whittaker, lecturer in space physics at Nottingham Trent University in the UK

Researchers are trying to figure out how the Earth might respond to stronger clouds of smoke from rocket exhaust by examining the total mix of carbon dioxide, soot, alumina, and other particles that are collectively emitted by a spreading variety of rockets.

So far, the fledgling space industry is not seriously threatening the environment and likely has room for growth. However, it is unclear whether that will change as the new space race accelerates.

“I don’t think we know enough at this point to pinpoint exactly what this future should look like,” said Martin Ross, atmospheric researcher at The Aerospace Corp. “We just don’t have this information yet.”

Effects on carbon dioxide and climate change

As the world grapples with the move away from fossil fuels, the rise of a new industry – especially one with huge clouds bubbling out from powerful engines – could seem unsettling.

Most rockets emit more planet-warming carbon than many airplanes. A few minutes of weightlessness on the Virgin Galactic spacecraft will leave a carbon footprint comparable to flying business class across the Atlantic, and an orbital launch of SpaceX’s upcoming fully reusable spacecraft will emit as much carbon dioxide as one continuously flying an aircraft for about three years, according to a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Whittaker.

A spokesman for Virgin Galactic said the company is “exploring ways to offset carbon emissions for future customer flights.” While SpaceX did not comment directly on CO2 emissions, musk Has supports a CO2 tax Politics. Blue Origin has said its New Shepard missile uses carbon-free fuels like hydrogen and oxygen.

But there are far more commercial airplane flights than space launches – 39 million against 114 in 2018 – too many for the space industry to catch up in even the most ambitious of scenarios. Today missiles burn collectively approx. 0.1% as much fuel as airplanes, which makes their CO2 emissions compared to a rounding error.

Whittaker points out, however, that such calculations neglect the unknown, but likely substantial, carbon footprint of producing, transporting, and cooling the tons of fuel used in space launches

“While it doesn’t coincide with aviation, it’s still a great add-on,” he says.

To achieve carbon neutrality, he hopes the industry will follow Blue Origin’s lead and use carbon-free fuels as well as greener operations by producing fuel locally from renewable energy sources.

What missiles leave in the atmosphere

“If CO2 isn’t in the action, it’s the particles,” says Ross, who has spent decades studying the environmental impact of takeoffs.

The glowing flames that shoot out of a rocket’s engines indicate that when the vehicle burns, soot is produced, technically known as “black carbon”. Any rocket that burns carbon-based fuels like kerosene or methane injects these particles directly into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, where they are likely to circulate for four to five years.

There the growing layer of soot looks like a fine black umbrella. It absorbs solar radiation and effectively prevents sunlight from reaching the surface of the planet, similar to what is suggested Geoengineering schemes intends to temporarily cool the earth might work. Shiny alumina particles emitted by the solid rocket engines of NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System and China’s Long March 11 vehicle make the phenomenon worse by reflecting sunlight.

The effects of this unintended experiment are unknown – except that they could be significant. A simple simulation found by Ross and a colleague in 2014 that the primary cooling effect of dozens of rocket launches is already equivalent to the warming effect of carbon dioxide released by millions of commercial flights.

That’s not to say that the aerospace industry is offsetting the environmental impact of flying. Infusing the atmosphere with novel particles has complex effects, says Ross. For example, their rough model showed that rocket launches cooled some locations by 0.5 degrees Celsius, while they heated the Arctic by more than 1 degree Celsius. And the simulation didn’t try to include side effects, such as whether takeoffs would create clouds or kill. More sophisticated modeling could show that exhaust particulate matter exacerbates overall warming, says Ross.

Other emissions and ozone

Space launches also worry some researchers because rockets emit their exhaust gases directly into the stratosphere, home to the protective ozone layer that blocks harmful ultraviolet light.

Most solid rocket engines emit alumina particles and chlorine gas, which promote chemical reactions that break down ozone into molecular oxygen. SpaceX and Blue Origin have switched to liquid fuels, which are typically less harmful but still contain by-products, including water vapor and nitrogen oxides, which can break down ozone during the years they circulate in the upper atmosphere.

“They’re not harmless,” says Eloise Marais, an atmospheric researcher at University College London. “They have an impact on the atmosphere.”

Marais is working on a prediction of how the current portfolio of rocket fuels could thin the ozone layer in the not too distant future. She has explored the impact of current launches and a speculative scenario where space tourism is proving popular and reliable enough to support a few suborbital launches a day and an orbital launch every week.

The calculations need to be reviewed before release, Marais says, but preliminary results suggest that while today’s launches have little impact on ozone, a booming space tourism industry could begin to change that.

“The effect is big enough that we could worry if the industry grew beyond what we speculate,” she says.

How often the companies will start in the future remains uncertain. Virgin Galactic says it hopes to operate at some point 400 flights per year. SpaceX introduces itself Passengers with spaceship shuttle between major cities in less than an hour, competing with commercial airlines.

Balancing space advances with environmental concerns

Access to space has revolutionized weather forecasting, communications technology, and researchers’ ability to understand how human activities have changed the Earth’s climate. It has also enabled space-based facilities like the International Space Station and a fleet of space telescopes to conduct transformative basic research.

In the future, a thriving space industry could create practical projects from clean, space-based solar energy to Asteroid mining, as well as the search for life in the solar system and other scientific endeavors.

Researchers like Ross don’t want to stop this progress. Rather, they hope to make this possible by identifying potential environmental problems early on. Today’s embryonic space industry is largely harmless, and Ross suggests that an environmental research program could help keep it that way even at maturity.

Stratospheric aircraft could scan rocket clouds directly to learn exactly what they are spewing out, while satellites and ground-based observatories monitor the atmosphere for short-, medium- and long-term effects of take-offs. There is also the unknown effects of obsolete satellites “burning up” and throwing tons of metal particles into the upper atmosphere. Supercomputers could run extensive simulations to determine what levels and types of space activity can be safely conducted.

“We want to avoid a surprising future,” says Ross. “We would like to say that the space industry can now move forward sustainably.”

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin shedding high expertise throughout NASA lander battle

Jeff Bezos, owner of Blue Origin, unveils a new lunar module called the Blue Moon during an event at the Washington Convention Center on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images

Jeff Bezos flew into space late last month, but his company has lost top talent since the billionaire space founder returned to Earth.

At least 17 key executives and senior engineers left Blue Origin this summer, CNBC learned, and many will follow suit in the weeks to Bezos’ space travel.

Two of the engineers, Nitin Arora and Lauren Lyons, have announced jobs at other space companies this week: Elon Musks SpaceX and Firefly aerospace, respectively.

Others have been quietly updating their LinkedIn pages over the past few weeks.

Any unannounced departure has been confirmed to CNBC by people familiar with the matter. Those departures include: Steve Bennett, Senior Vice President of New Shepard, Jeff Ashby, Head of Mission Assurance (who has retired), Scott Jacobs, Sales Director for National Security, Bob Ess, Senior Director of New Glenn, Tod Byquist , Senior Director of the First Tier of New Glenn, Senior Finance of New Glenn Manager Bill Scammell, Senior Manager of Production Testing Christopher Payne, New Shepard Technical Project Manager Nate Chapman, Senior Propulsion Design Engineer Dave Sanderson, Senior HLS Human Factors Engineer Rachel Forman, BE-4 Controller Lead Integration and Testing Engineer Jack Nelson, New Shepard Lead Avionics Software Engineer Huong Vo, BE-7 Avionics Hardware Engineer Aaron Wang, Propulsion Engineer Rex Gu, and Rocket Engine Development Engineer Gerry Hudak.

Those who announced they were leaving Blue Origin didn’t say why, but frustration with management and a slow, bureaucratic structure are often cited in employee reviews on the Glassdoor job site.

A company spokesperson highlighted Blue Origin’s growth in a statement to CNBC.

“Blue Origin grew by 850 employees in 2020 and we have grown another 650 in 2021 so far. In fact, we’ve almost quadrupled in the past three years. We continue to occupy important management positions in manufacturing. , Quality, engine design and vehicle design. We are building a team and we have great talent, “said the spokesman.

Some of the retired engineers were part of Blue Origin’s astronaut lunar lander program. Bezos’ company lost its bid for a valuable NASA development contract in April when SpaceX was announced as the only award winner under the Space Agency’s Human Landing System program, receiving a $ 2.9 billion contract.

But even though the Government Accountability Office last month rejected Blue Origin’s protest against NASA’s decision, the company has further escalated its fight to participate in the HLS program. Blue Origin launched for the first time a PR offensive against SpaceX’s Starship Missile and then NASA sued in federal court on Monday.

A $ 10,000 bonus

Jeff Bezos pops champagne after emerging from the New Shepard capsule after his space flight on July 20, 2021.

Blue origin

The company has nearly 4,000 employees in the United States, with headquarters in Kent, Washington, near Seattle, and offices in Cape Canaveral, Florida; Van Horn, Texas; and Huntsville, Alabama.

Ten days after Bezos’ space flight on July 20, Blue Origin gave all of its full-time employees an unconditional cash bonus of $ 10,000, several people familiar with the situation told CNBC. None of Blue Origin’s contractors received it. The company confirmed the bonus, with a spokesperson saying it was intended as a “thank you” for reaching the milestone of getting humans into space.

Two people told CNBC that the bonus was perceived internally as an attempt by corporate management to persuade talent to stay in response to the number of employees who filed resignations after the introduction.

A look at Glassdoor reveals a marked difference in employee satisfaction with the leadership of Blue Origin compared to that of other leading space companies. According to Glassdoor, only 15% of Blue Origin employees approve of CEO Bob Smith – up from 91% for Elon Musk at SpaceX or 77% for Tory Bruno at the United Launch Alliance.

The HLS fight

A model of the crew lander at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in August 2020.

Blue origin

NASA’s Human Landing System program is one of the critical parts of the agency’s plan, known as Artemis, to return US astronauts to the lunar surface.

Last year NASA awarded nearly $ 1 billion in concept development contracts for HLS – SpaceX received $ 135 million, Read‘Subsidiary Dynetics receives $ 253 million and Blue Origin receives $ 579 million. The space agency then expected to award two of these three companies for hardware development contracts this year. However, after a lack of requested funding for HLS from Congress, NASA decided to only give SpaceX a contract worth about $ 2.9 billion.

Blue Origin and Dynetics each quickly filed protests with the US Government Accountability Office, which stopped NASA’s work on the program until the protests could be resolved. GAO confirmed NASA’s decision on July 30th. On August 16, Blue Origin went one step further, sue NASA in federal court.

NASA has paid $ 300 million of its SpaceX contract to date, with payment being made on the day GAO declined to protest. However, the space agency’s work on HLS has again been suspended – this time due to Blue Origin’s lawsuit, according to court records on Thursday – and will not resume until November 1.

Big delays

Billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos will launch with three crew members aboard a New Shepard missile on the world’s first unattended suborbital flight from Blue Origin Launch Site 1 near Van Horn, Texas on July 20, 2021.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Blue Origin has struggled to execute several large programs since Bezos hired Smith as CEO in 2017. Bezos founded the company in 2000 with the aim of “creating a future where millions of people in space live and work to help the earth”. Delays – although common in the industry where the adage “space is tough” is persistently heard – have pushed Bezos’ vision back. highlighted by the departure of Blue Origin’s Chief Operating Officer late last year.

Bezos launched to the edge of space as one of the members of the first crew aboard the reusable New Shepard rocket. Although the company didn’t disclose pricing, New Shepard is competing with it Virgo galactic in suborbital space tourism, with Blue Origin selling nearly $ 100 million worth of tickets for future passenger flights. Although New Shepard’s first crewed launch was a resounding success, Blue Origin leadership had previously expected the rocket to begin human launching by the end of 2017.

An artist’s illustration of a New Glenn rocket on the launch pad in Florida.

Blue origin

BE-4 engine test at Blue Origin launch facility in West Texas.

Blue origin

Blue Origin’s third major program is its stable rocket engine, led by the BE-4, which will propel its New Glenn rocket. The company previously said its BE-4 engines would be “ready to fly in 2017”.

However, four years later, development issues and a lack of hardware for testing mean Blue Origin has not yet shipped its first aircraft engines. ArsTechnica reports earlier this month. The company is pushing to have two BE-4 engines ready by the end of this year. BE-4s in particular are important beyond Blue Origin because ULA signed a contract to use the engines to power their Vulcan missilesPrefer Blue Origin Aerojet Rocketdyne as its supplier. ULA is pushing to have its first Vulcan rocket ready for launch by the end of this year, and Blue Origin’s BE-4 engines are expected to be one – if not the – last piece to be added before launch.

Bezos has spent most of the time focusing on over the past two decades Amazonbut on the way has steadily sold parts of its stake in the tech giant to Fund the development of Blue Origin – to the $ 1 billion a year, or possibly more. Last month, Bezos resigned as CEO of Amazon, with many in the space industry expecting him to focus more on his space business.

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Authorities denies Bezos’ Blue Origin protest over NASA HLS contract

Jeff Bezos, owner of Blue Origin, unveils a new lunar module called the Blue Moon during an event at the Washington Convention Center on May 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images

The US government accountability office on Friday rejected protests from companies affiliated with it Jeff Bezos that NASA has wrongly awarded a lucrative lunar lander contract exclusively to astronauts Elon Musks SpaceX.

The complaints were filed by Jeff Bezos ‘Blue Origin and Leidos’ subsidiary Dynetics.

“NASA did not violate public procurement laws or regulations when it decided to award only one award … the evaluation of all three proposals was reasonable and in line with applicable public procurement laws, regulations and the terms of the announcement,” said Kenneth. , Managing Associate General Counsel of GAO Patton wrote in a statement.

The GAO ruling supports the Space Agency’s surprise announcement in April that NASA has placed an order with SpaceX valued at approximately $ 2.9 billion. SpaceX was likely to compete with Blue Origin and Dynetics for two contracts before NASA awarded a single contract due to a lower allocation to the program from Congress.

NASA, in a statement, said the GAO decision will enable the agency “to set a schedule for the first manned landing on the moon in more than 50 years”.

“As soon as possible, NASA will provide an update on the way forward for Artemis, the human landing system, and the return of mankind to the moon. We will continue to work with the Biden administration and Congress to secure funding for a robust and sustainable approach. “For the nation’s return to the moon in collaboration with US trading partners,” the US space agency said.

A spokesperson for Blue Origin told CNBC that the company still believes that “there were fundamental issues with NASA’s decision, but GAO couldn’t address it due to its limited jurisdiction.”

“We will continue to advocate two immediate vendors as we believe this is the right solution,” said Blue Origin. “The Human Landing System program must have competition now instead of later – that is the best solution for NASA and the best solution for our country.”

SpaceX and Dynetics did not respond to CNBC requests for comment. For his part, Musk commented on the GAO’s decision in a tweet with a single emoji for the flexing arm.

NASA decision

Prototype spacecraft rocket SN15 launches from Boca Chica, Texas.

SpaceX

The GAO protest ruling resolves a dispute over NASA’s Human Landing System program, one of the final key elements in the agency’s plan to return US astronauts to the lunar surface.

Prior to the recent award, NASA had placed nearly $ 1 billion in concept development contracts – SpaceX received $ 135 million, Dynetics received 253 million, and Blue Origin received $ 579 million.

When choosing SpaceX for the next round of development, NASA decided to fund a variation of SpaceX Spaceship rocket, the prototype of which SpaceX has tested at its development site in Boca Chica, Texas.

NASA plans to have their astronauts use Starship to transfer from the agency’s Orion spacecraft when the capsule reaches lunar orbit.

Protests from Blue Origin and Dynetics

Shortly after NASA’s announcement in April, Blue Origin and Dynetics each filed protests with the GAOquestioning the space agency’s process and decision.

Blue Origin condemned the award as “flawed” in April, saying NASA “moved the goal posts at the last minute”.

The company also announced that its $ 5.99 billion bid was roughly double that of SpaceX. NASA later announced that Dynetics’ bid was even higher at $ 8.5 billion.

One effect of the protests is that NASA was unable to advance work on HLS with SpaceX, with work on the program essentially being suspended pending the GAO’s decision.

Bezos’ counter

Shortly after he flew into space himself on Blue Origin’s first manned flight, Bezos wrote a letter to NASA earlier this week that he would cover up to $ 2 billion in the space agency’s cost for a lunar landing contract.

“We stand ready to help NASA moderate its technical risks and resolve its budget constraints and get the Artemis program back on a more competitive, credible and sustainable path,” Bezos wrote in the letter.

Blue Origin communications vice president Linda Mills told CNBC in an email that Bezos had “made no change to the offering” following the GAO ruling.

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin auctions spaceflight seat for $28 million

A New Shepard missile takes off on a test flight.

Blue origin

Jeff Bezos“Space company Blue Origin auctioned a seat for its upcoming first manned space flight for $ 28 million on Saturday.

The successful bidder, whose name has not been published, flies with the to the edge of space Amazon Founder and his brother Mark on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket due to launch on July 20th. The company plans to announce the name of the auction winner in the coming weeks.

The bidding started at $ 4.8 million but exceeded $ 20 million in the first few minutes of the auction. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to Blue Origin’s education-focused nonprofit Club for the Future, which supports children interested in future STEM careers.

Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut and orbital sales at Blue Origin, said during the auction webcast that New Shepard’s first passenger flight will carry four people, including Bezos, his brother, the auction winner and a fourth person who will be announced later .

Autonomous space travel

New Shepard, a rocket that propels a capsule to over 340,000 feet, has flown more than a dozen successful test flights with no passengers. including one in April at the company’s site in the Texas desert. It is designed for up to six people and flies autonomously – without the need for a pilot. The capsule has massive windows to allow passengers to view Earth for about three minutes in weightlessness before returning to Earth.

Blue Origin’s system launches vertically and both the rocket and capsule are reusable. The boosters land vertically on a concrete slab at the company’s facility in Van Horn, Texas, while the capsules land with a set of parachutes.

The inside of the newest New Shepard capsule

Blue origin

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 and still owns the company. Financing through stock sales of his Amazon Warehouse.

July 20th is notable because it also marks the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Branson and Musk

VSS Unity ignites its rocket engine shortly after take-off for its third space flight on May 22, 2021.

Virgo galactic

Bezos and other billionaires Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson are in a space race, but in different ways. Bezos’ Blue Origin and Branson’s Virgo galactic are competing to take passengers to the edge of space on short flights, a sector known as suborbital tourism, while Musk’s SpaceX carries private passengers on additional multi-day flights in so-called orbital tourism.

Both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic developed rocket-powered starships, but that’s where the similarities end. While Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches vertically from the ground, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system is released into the air and returns to Earth on glide for a runway landing, like an airplane.

Virgin Galactic’s system is also flown by two pilots, while Blue Origin’s system takes off without one. Branson’s company has also flown a test space flight with a passenger on board, though the company still has three space tests left before it starts to fly commercial customers – which is expected to start in 2022.

SpaceX launches its Crew Dragon spacecraft to orbit on its reusable Falcon 9 rocket has so far sent 10 astronauts on three missions to the International Space Station.

In addition to government flights, Musk’s company plans to launch several private astronaut missions in the coming year – starting with the purely civil Inspiration4 mission that’s planned for September. SpaceX is also launching at least four private missions for Axiom Space, from the beginning of next year.

Blue Origin’s auction raised $ 28 million, but a seat on a suborbital spaceship is usually much cheaper. Virgin Galactic has historically sold reservations between $ 200,000 and $ 250,000 per ticket and recently charged the Italian Air Force about $ 500,000 per ticket for a training room flight.

Musk’s orbital missions are more expensive than suborbital flights, with NASA SpaceX paying about $ 55 million per seat for space flights to the ISS.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, named “Resilience”, is docked at the International Space Station.

NASA

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Timothée Chalamet to play Willy Wonka in origin story | Arts & Leisure

NEW YORK (AP) – Timothée Chalamet will play Willy Wonka in a musical based on the early life of Roald Dahl’s eccentric chocolatier.

Warner Bros. and the Roald Dahl Story Co. announced Monday that 25-year-old Chalamet will star in Wonka. The studio said the film will “focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures before the world’s most famous chocolate factory opens”.

Paul King (“Paddington”, “Paddington 2”) will direct from a script he wrote with Simon Farnaby, with Harry Potter producer David Heyman producing. Warner Bros. set a release date in March 2023 earlier this year.

Gene Wilder starred in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” in 1971, based on Dahl’s famous book. When Tim Burton rebooted in 2005, Johnny Depp starred Wonka in a Warner Bros. release that grossed $ 475 million worldwide.

Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”, “Thor: Ragnarok”) is making a separate pair of animated series for Netflix, one that focuses on the world of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and one that is based on the Oompa Loopmas.

Chalamet, the Oscar-nominated star of Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name”, has a number of high-profile projects in the pipeline, including Denis Villenueve’s “Dune”, Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” and Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look” Up “and Guadagnino’s” Bones & All “.

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New Resident Evil film is an origin story, says Johannes Roberts | Leisure

The new “Resident Evil” movie is “an origin story”.

Johannes Roberts, who was previously responsible for “47 Meters Down” 2017, has spiced up details of the upcoming film, which has been officially titled “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City”.

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