Can Jeff Bezos Beat Elon Musk in Private Space Exploration Race?

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is trying to achieve his dream of building hotels, amusement parks, and colonies for people in space. His aerospace company, Blue Origin successfully launched the first mission of 2020 with a rocket named New Shepard on 13 October. According to records, the company has carried out 13 test flights since its foundation in 2000 with only 1 failure.

The world’s richest man may have kept his space missions secrete in the beginning, but he always wanted to evacuate the humans so that the earth could become like a park. However, the progression is going rather slow. It has been 20 years and Blue Origin has not yet taken a single human in space. Apparently, the company is still in the process of mastering the landing on the moon.

Jeff Bezos On Testing Lunar Landing Technology

New Shepard launched from the company’s West Texas site to conduct few experiments for NASA’s Artemis program. It involves using innovative technologies to explore lunar surface more efficiently. Blue Origin designed a sensor suit for NASA to determine how to make a precise landing on the surface of the moon. The mission could help crewed and robotic lunar missions in the near future.

Reportedly the CEO, Bob Smith has claimed that the company is close to flying humans. With the Artemis program, NASA has selected 3 companies to develop a robust system so humans can return to moon by 2024. These companies are SpaceX, Dynetics, and Blue Origin.

Jeff’s company is developing another rocket named New Glenn while conducting tests with the New Shepard. The vehicle has made 7 consecutive suborbital trips to space for this experiment. Jeff congratulated his team and NASA for the successful mission on Instagram

New Shepard can only embark on short, suborbital adventures. The company hopes that their next rocket New Glenn would be able to make much more challenging journeys like taking cargo and satellites into space.

The Launch And Landing Of New Shepard

Reportedly, the 10-minute flight of New Shepard could help pave the way for including humans on board as well. NASA was constantly monitoring the technology as the New Shepard flew to space and came back gently to the ground.

According to the collected data, the system’s algorithms and sensors could allow visitors to land on the rough terrain which was impossible during the Apollo program. Previously, astronauts could only land on some specific areas. Places that contained boulders, and craters were not reachable.

Where Blue Origin Stands In The Space Race

Despite Blue Origin’s futuristic plans, the company remains an underdog in the private space exploration business, where Elon Musk’s SpaceX is dominant. HBO is developing a Biography series on the story of Musk and SpaceX. It is two years younger than Blue Origin and it is already launching human beings and satellites into space.

One may wonder why Bezos was so slow with Blue Origin. The answer lies with the company’s motto ‘Gradatim Ferociter’, which is Latin for ‘step-by-step, ferociously’. Even its mascot is a tortoise which symbolize going slow without skimping anything. The culture at SpaceX is entirely opposite, which reflects the capitalistic strategy of moving extremely fast while embracing mistakes along the way as learning experience. Jeff on the other hand is taking measured steps, focusing more on NASA’s vision of precision lunar landing. It requires the development of advanced movement skills and technologies that could help robots and crew to explore Moon like never before. The billionaire yearly invests 1 billion USD from the Amazon stock to fund the aerospace company.

Jeff Bezos once explained the lesson he learned from the hare and tortoise fable. He believes that slow is smooth and smooth is fast because many space companies can hike their activities aggressively but fail to make any real difference, like the hare. According to him, building a flying machine requires resolve and one cannot cut corners or take shortcuts. It has to be done step-by-step, but ferociously. The Blue Origin team paints a tortoise on the hatch whenever New Shepard completes a successful flight.

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