Jeff Bezos has Conquered the World. What Worlds are Left?

Jan 4, 2007 4:24pm

Blue Origin, the space effort launched by Amazon.com’s founder Jeff Bezos, has been shrouded in secrecy.  About all it would ever confirm in the past was that it existed, and that it was looking for talented engineers.  Its objective, like the more public VIRGIN GALACTIC and other ventures, was to make privately-funded suborbital flights, and eventually go beyond.   

Now, on the BLUE ORIGIN WEBSITE, Bezos has revealed that on Nov. 13, his team successfully launched a stubby robot test rocket called Goddard.  It only rose about 285 feet into the air over west Texas, but hovered gracefully, and safely landed on its four legs.  And if the videos on the site are to be believed, it was a sight to see. 

"We’re working, patiently and step-by-step, to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go and so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system," writes Bezos.

And–oh, by the way–Blue Origin is hiring engineers.  "Our hiring bar is unabashedly extreme, and we insist on keeping our team size small. This means the person occupying each and every spot must be among the most technically gifted in his or her field."

Will Blue Origin succeed?  Bezos has done pretty well in the Internet-sales business; FORBES last year listed him as the 147th richest person on earth.  But on the other hand, there’s an old saying: Anyone can make a small fortune in space–spend a large one.

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