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Blue Origin probably won’t launch people to space this year

4 Oct 2019, 13:58 UTC
Blue Origin probably won’t launch people to space this year
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Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket booster approaches landing after successfully launching the company’s eleventh mission, NS-11, from West Texas on 2 May 2019. Image credit: Blue Origin
Blue Origin’s first crewed spaceflight probably won’t take place this year after all.
The company, which was founded in 2001 by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, had been hoping to start launching people to space aboard its suborbital New Shepard vehicle before the end of 2019. But the chances of meeting that target are low at this point, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said.
“Is it likely? Probably not, because 2019 is rapidly coming to a close,” Smith said on 2 October 2019 at Disrupt SF 2019, a conference in San Francisco, California, United States, organised by the website TechCrunch.
Blue Origin plans to launch at least two more uncrewed New Shepard test missions before putting someone aboard, Smith told TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington, who joined him on stage.
“If those flights go really well, then we may be able to actually get people up relatively soon,” Smith said. “If not, we’re just going to methodically go through that and make sure that we’re only going to fly when we’re safe.”
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