Blue Origin is an aerospace equipment manufacturer headquartered in Kent, Washington, and founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000. The company also sells sub-orbital spaceflight services.
Bezos started Blue Origin because he saw a future where millions of people would live and work in space to preserve the Earth. For humanity to survive, in other words, Bezos believed that it was important to find alternative sources of materials and energy in space so that harmful industries could be moved off-planet.
Today, Blue Origin is one of a host of companies in the civil, commercial, and defense spaceflight industries such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Axiom. Although the company provides rocket engines and related technology to clients, it is perhaps best known for its New Shepard rocket and spaceflight system for commercial passengers. The first crewed mission with Bezos, his brother Mark, and two other individuals launched on July 20, 2021. Two subsequent missions took place in 2021, with each astronaut experiencing around three minutes of zero gravity at an altitude of 340,000 feet.
Blue Origin ownership structure
Bezos had become enamored with space as a child and had expressed an interest at 18 to build space hotels and amusement parks for millions of people that would orbit the Earth. Sometime in 1999, he discussed the idea of starting a space company with American fiction writer Neal Stephenson after witching the rocketry-inspired film October Sky.
Blue Origin remained more or less silent for the first fifteen years of its operation as Bezos and his team worked to refine their propulsion systems and launch vehicles. During this period, the only possible clue to the billionaire’s intentions was his acquisition of a 30,000-acre ranch in Texas which would later serve as the operational base of the company.
While Bezos remains the sole owner of Blue Origin in 2022, the CEO of the company is Dr. Robert H. Smith – a former Honeywell Aerospace executive with a formal education in aerospace engineering and mathematics.
- Blue Origin is an aerospace equipment manufacturer headquartered in Kent, Washington, and founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000. The company also sells sub-orbital spaceflight services.
- Blue Origin is one of multiple companies in the civil, commercial, and defense spaceflight industries such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Axiom. Although it provides rocket engines and related technology to clients, Blue Origin is perhaps best known for its New Shepard rocket and spaceflight system for commercial passengers.
- Blue Origin is wholly owned by Jeff Bezos, with the Amazon founder stepping down from his role as the eCommerce company’s CEO in February 2021 to devote more time to building rockets. Former Honeywell Aerospace executive Robert H. Smith is the current CEO of the company.
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