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Blue Origin lands rocket, CollierBlue Origin lands rocket, Collier

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.

The New Shepard rocket lifts off during a test flight. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin.

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.

The New Shepard rocket was one of four nominees for the 2016 Robert J. Collier Trophy, an award given annually “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles.” Other nominees for the 2016 trophy, to be presented at a date and location to be announced, included Dassault Aviation’s FalconEye Combined Vision System, the U.S. Air Force 212th Rescue Squadron, and the Boeing 737 MAX.

“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.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: Technology, Aviation Organizations, Awards and Records

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