The news spread on his Instagram account. Jeff Bezos has announced that on July 20, accompanied by his brother, he will be on board the New Shepard capsule of his company Blue Origin for the first tourist flight into space in history. The head of Amazon said it was “his dream” since he was 5 years old.
A few weeks ago, the small world of space was shaken by the announcement of Blue Origin. The first tourist flight into space will take place on July 20th in less than two months. A date that seemed very near, too near, in the view of many observers, concerned about the speed of setting up such a flight. But now, earlier this week, a real earthquake has struck New Space. Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon and Blue Origin, the richest man in the world, will fly into space with “his” rocket on July 20th. This flight promises to be the first line of a new chapter in space history.
The big shot from Blue Origin
With this announcement, Blue Origin strikes a blow in the fight against SpaceX, the company owned by Elon Musk, Bezos’ direct opponent in the space race in which the two billionaires are involved.
If we could believe that SpaceX has made the triumphant advance in the last few months with the flights of the Starship, but also the partnerships with NASA, whether in the short term with the refueling of the ISS, but also as part of a much more ambitious program like Artemis, the aim neither more nor less than the moon.
Blue Origin, which suffered a severe setback in late April when NASA, citing budget cuts, decided to keep just one lunar lander project instead of two as originally planned. And it was the SpaceX project that was chosen, to everyone’s surprise. An incomprehensible decision for Bezos, who immediately stepped on the table and urged NASA to freeze his judgment.
But timing or not, this event seems to have set fire to the powder on Blue Origin’s schedule, which has returned to the spotlight in recent weeks, almost ousting SpaceX and Elon Musk from the space race.
Blue Origin: number 1 in the private sector?
As mentioned earlier, Blue Origin’s first big announcement was that it was planning to launch its first tourist flight into space this year. Bezos’ company was aiming for July 20th even more ambitiously. A tight schedule for the company that many see fail because of the extreme difficulty of the mission. If postponement has been mentioned by the most skeptical, the theft should be timely, but it is also eligible for a five-star cast.
In addition to Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark will also go on the trip. A family trip over the blue sphere that is the earth that almost sounds like a farewell to the boss of Amazon. The latter announced a few weeks ago that he would leave the head of his company on July 5 and hand it over to Andy Jassy, the current president of AWS, a subsidiary of the group.
With this flight on July 20th, Jeff Bezos substantiates his wish to concentrate 100% on Blue Origin. Jeff Bezos’ increased presence in the company’s infrastructures shows its founder’s determination to take him to a new level in the years to come. Overtaken by SpaceX for some time, the company is on the way to catching up or even regaining control in this “race” for space.
With Jeff Bezos’ first flight into space, the battle between Blue Origin and SpaceX has just written a new chapter in this barely veiled rivalry. Like Yuri Gagarin 60 years ago, Jeff Bezos was able to mark the first great lines of modern space history.