WASHINGTON – Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin flew 14 people to space in 2021, and CEO Bob Smith on Thursday said the firm needs to build more of its New Shepard rockets to meet the demand from the space tourism market.
“I think the challenge for Blue at this point is that we’re actually supply limited,” Smith said, speaking at the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington.
Blue Origin launched three crewed missions with its New Shepard rocket and capsule last year, as well as one cargo research flight. Smith says the company can “easily double that” number of missions in 2022.
New Shepard launches from Blue Origin’s private facility in the Texas desert and reaches above 100 kilometers (or over 340,000 feet of altitude), past the 80-kilometer boundary the U.S. uses to mark the edge of space. Blue Origin currently has two operational New Shepard rocket boosters, one for research cargo flights and the other for passenger flights. Read more