Blue Origin, Amazon.com’s billionaire Jeff Bezo‘s rocket venture, successfully launched a NASA-backed launch pad system for it’s crew capsule.
According to NBC News, the October 19th demonstration at Blue Origin’s West Texas spaceport marked the final milestone for NASA’s $22 million agreement with Blue Origin. Their agreement was aimed at promoting the development of a new generation of spaceships that would be capable of resupplying the International Space Station.
Blue Origin’s pad-escape test was the latest step in Bezos’ decade-long struggle to develop a launch system suitable for space tourists, researchers, and orbit-bound astronauts. Bezo, the 48-year-old Amazon.com founder, who’s net worth is estimated to be more than $23 billion, created Blue Origin in 2000.
“Blue Origin’s goal is to work steadily toward developing human spaceflight capabilities,” Brett Alexander, the company’s director of business development and strategy, told me today. “Our goal is to lower the cost and increase the safety of human spaceflight to enable more people to fly.”
Blue Origin, which is based in Kent, Washington, decided not to compete for the next phase of NASA’s orbital program, however, Bezos did say that his company would make use of the “pusher” pad escape system in its suborbital spaceships, according to a news release issued today.
“The first test of our suborbital Crew Capsule is a big step on the way to safe, affordable space travel,” he said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without NASA’s help, and the Blue Origin team worked hard and smart to design this system, build it, and pull off this test. Lots of smiles around here today. Gradatim Ferociter!”
“Gradatim Ferociter” is Blue Origin’s motto, which is Latin for “Step By Step, Courageously”.