Private space company Blue Origin plans to begin sending tourists into space in 2018. This was reported by the owner of the company, the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos journalists during the first time held a press tour of the headquarters under the Blue Origin Seattle, reports Reuters.
According to Bezos, in 2017, Blue Origin expects to begin test launches of the suborbital vehicle, New Shepard with the participation of test pilots. If these tests are successful, then in 2018, the company will proceed to send “paying astronauts”, said the businessman. Still the owner of the Blue Origin did not specify the possible date of commencement of commercial flights.
Bezos said that already has invested in the company more than $500 million and will continue to invest “as long as necessary”. Bezos also admitted that he expects to exit Blue Origin at a profit. “I’m optimistic it will be a healthy business,” he said.
Blue Origin plans to build six New ships Shepard, capable of lifting six passengers to a height of 100 km above the Earth’s surface. This is enough space tourists saw the Earth from outer space and stayed for a few minutes of weightlessness, notes Reuters. The two ships, which first provided the Windows for the tourists that are currently in the build process.
During the press tour, Bezos said that he had begun to be interested in the rockets at the age of five, but I never thought about what will have the resources to create space company, writes The New York Times. According to the businessman, he has picked a “winning lottery ticket”, creating an online store Amazon.com. According to Forbes, Bezos is ranked fifth in the ranking of the richest billionaires in the world, and his fortune is estimated at $45.2 billion
The estimated cost of a tourist flight into space Blue Origin is not yet clarified. She will be at the level of prices that will set the other private space company, announced Bezos.
Virgin Galactic of British billionaire Richard Branson previously announced that the cost of the flight on Board SpaceShipTwo, able to accommodate six passengers and two pilots, will be $250 thousand of Private company XCOR Aerospace, which is developing a Lynx spacecraft for two people, planning to take about $100 thousand per flight of the space tourist. The Russian company “Cosmocats”, which plans to launch the 15-minute “space tour” in 2020, on its website reports that the price of one ticket will be from $200 thousand to 250 thousand