Your Personal Space Journey: Blue Origin Advancing Ever Closer to Commercial Space Flight


Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, inspects New Shepard’s West Texas launch facility before the rocket’s maiden voyage. Photo credit: Blue Origin

When New Horizons zipped by Pluto the other day, I read a comment somewhere that the oldest living person on Earth had been born before Orville and Wilbur Wright completed their first flight … and now we’ve sent a spacecraft to the most distant planet in our solar system, and beyond. (Oh, go on, Neil deGrasse Tyson, you can say Pluto isn’t a planet, but I say it is! So there!) How far we have come, so quickly!

Space has probably fascinated humans for as long as we’ve had the mental capacity to wonder what might be out there. (For me, that fascination is so great it inspired my first YA sci-fi, The Universes Inside the Lighthouse.) How can we not be curious? We are explorers, we are dreamers. Our imaginations are vast, and space is, after all, the final frontier.

And now, whereas a little more than one hundred years ago the idea of flying at all was still just a dream, commercial space flight — commercial space flight, people! –is, quite possibly, just a few years away from becoming a reality.

Blue Origin, a privately funded aerospace manufacturer set up by’s Jeff Bezos, is one of the companies working on this dream. When I heard that the company recently began taking “RSVPs” for its future flights, I had to find out more. (Note: despite reports to the contrary, they’re not actually taking RSVPs. See below.)

My thanks to Jessica Pieczonka, Blue Origin — Communications, for answering my questions!

​Jeff Bezos tests communication systems before the first flight of the New Shepard space vehicle. Photo credit: Blue Origin

Q: When did you begin —> Read More