US should be 'spacefaring' - Bezos

2015-09-17 12:53
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Technology billionaire Jeff Bezos is excited about the idea of humans in space - millions of them living and working there.

The founder and chief executive of e-commerce giant Amazon.com made a major announcement on Tuesday that takes his space company, Blue Origin, deeper into the 21st century space and closer to that dream.

Bezos is investing $200m in a production facility in Florida to manufacture rockets. The goal is to hold the first launch later this decade, said Bezos, speaking in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Take-offs will be from launch pad 36, a storied site that sent 145 launches into space during 43 years of service.

"This site saw its last launch in 2005 and the pad has stood silent for more than 10 years. Too long," Bezos said. "We can't wait to fix that."

Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000.

"We're not just launching here, we're building here," he said.

Putting vehicle assembly near the launch site will ease transport of the big rockets, he said. Bezos unveiled a photo of the new orbital launch vehicle and promised more details next year.

"We humans need to become a spacefaring civilization," Bezos said. "Do we want to go to Mars? Absolutely. But we want to go everywhere. And if you want to go everywhere, then you need to dramatically lower the cost of space."

Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, joins other technology entrepreneurs who have been pouring money into space travel - and discovering its risks.

Elon Musk, who co-founded PayPal and Tesla Motors, started SpaceX in 2002. It has already launched rockets several times, some carrying supplies to the International Space Station. But its last mission failed when an unmanned rocket broke up during the launch.

British Billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is working on suborbital trips for adventure seekers. The 10-year-old subsidiary of Branson's Virgin conglomerate suffered a fatal crash of a rocket ship last November during a test flight that killed one of the two pilots.

Blue Origin also has had problems. Its New Shepard spacecraft completed its first test flight in April. The unmanned capsule separated and returned to the ground, but the booster crashed because of a malfunction in the hydraulic system.

Read more on:    amazon  |  jeff bezos  |  us  |  space

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.