US Approves Blue Origin License for Manned Space Travel Before Bezos Flight
By Eric M. Johnson and David Shepardson
SEATTLE / WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday it approved a Blue Origin license to transport humans to the New Shepard launch system in space.
Former Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos is expected to soar to the edge of space on Blue Origin’s first crewed trip on July 20.
Blue Origin is licensed to transport humans while its FAA license is valid until August and is licensed to conduct these missions from its Launch Site One facility in Texas, the agency confirmed.
Blue Origin was to verify that its launcher’s hardware and software was operating safely during a test flight and the FAA confirmed that it met regulatory requirements.
Blue Origin’s flight will come just over a week after space tourism rival Virgin Galactic successfully sent a crew including its founder, British billionaire Richard Branson, to the edge of space.
Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, along with the space company founded by billionaire rival Elon Musk, are working to usher in a new era of routine commercial civilian space travel in what has been popularized as the “billionaire space race.” “.
Proving rocket travel is safe for the public is key to developing what Swiss investment bank UBS estimates will be a $ 3 billion annual space tourism market within a decade.
(Reporting by David Shepardson and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Sandra Maler and Stephen Coates)