Billionaire and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has spent $1 billion to date developing a reusable rocket to send tourists to space, and will collect the 2016 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced March 28.
Bezos spoke about his vision for space tourism and Blue Origin spending spree at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, describing an expensive and ambitious agenda that will have 11-minute tourist rides to space aboard the Collier-winning rocket in 2018.
“Blue Origin's New Shepard program is remarkable,” said NAA Chairman Jim Albaugh, in a press release. “Developing the first new large liquid hydrogen rocket engine in almost 20 years and demonstrating repeatable vertical takeoffs and landings makes the long sought after goal of low cost reusable rockets and access to space a reality. NAA salutes the New Shepard team for their accomplishments.”
Bezos told the Space Symposium attendees April 5 that the reusable rocket will contribute to a hundred-fold reduction in the cost of sending humans into space, and he is “super optimistic” that New Shepard will prove to be a hot ticket.