“Our ultimate vision is millions of people living and working in space,” Bezos said during a rare, 30-minute interview in Florida with reporters after the Blue Origin announcement.
The “almost 50 billion dollar man” Jeff Bezos announced the upcoming 2018 space tourism flights of his New Shephard space capsule. The ticket price has not yet been announced, but the flight plan involves blasting vertically into the very edge of space — each passenger staring out his own panoramic window — then landing under the broad canopy of parachutes, while the main booster lands itself vertically.
During ascent, passengers will experience 3 to 4Gs, and up to 5Gs during descent, although the maximum g-forces will last only for about 10 seconds.
“The fun thing about ascent is the accelerating acceleration,” he said. “Basically you have more than 100,000 pounds of thrust from the BE-3 engine, and when you start out there’s a lot of propellant on board, and so you’re accelerating fairly slowly. But as you burn off the propellant, the vehicle gets very light and the thrust stays the same. So the acceleration increases.”
This differentiates New Shepard from its primary competitors, Virgin Galactic and XCOR, which are also developing suborbital space-tourism systems. While both of these vehicles will be powered by rocket engines, the fundamental architecture more closely resembles a high-flying airplane than a traditional rocket and space capsule. _ _ Ars TEchnica
Inside a factory on the edge of Seattle, the New Shephard propulsion modules are even now being constructed and readied for their 2018 debuts in space.
With a few notable exceptions, such as launchings and landings of New Shepard, a reusable suborbital spaceship, the company has shielded itself from the public eye. That changed on Tuesday when a group of veteran space reporters spent four hours touring the plant and talking with Bezos and Blue Origin managers.
The idea is that six people (and no pilots!) will strap themselves into seats and rocket up to 62 miles, or 100 kilometers, above Earth. They won’t be flying fast enough to go into orbit, but passengers can experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth set against the blackness of space before their ship plunges back into the atmosphere and lands.
Competition With SpaceX and Others Will Accelerate the Movement into Space
Competition is good, particularly if it leads to Bezos’ ultimate goals of getting “millions and millions of people living and working in space.”
The media tends to focus on Bezos’ back-and-forth with Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, which also launches rockets from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The two space visionaries captured attention with back-and-forth tweets after each launched and landed rockets. __ Blue Origin Revealed
Whatever one can do to earn a profit in space, will eventually be done. The infrastructures of space launch, space habitats, space supply, and routine space exploration and construction must be built up almost simultaneously. Asteroid miners will supply not only construction materials, precious metals, and a growing market for space merchants — they will also supply water and other materials that are vital for space living and space industry.
Earth $billionaires will become space $trillionaires, who will naturally strain against earth-bound shackles of small-minded bureaucrats and well connected reactionary activists. Space revolutions of multiple kinds are on the way.
… this investment would build space infrastructure to enable asteroid mining, lunar industrial development, SBSP, space tourism, and many other space businesses, the multiplier effect of investment in space could in fact be much larger. Furthermore, the enhanced capacity for disaster relief could rapidly yield savings in the tens of billions of dollars, and if a major city could be saved from destruction by an asteroid, the value could be in the trillions!