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Blue Origin Says Spaceflight Isn't A Race, But It Sure Seems Like One

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos expects to take tourists to space by 2018 but says safety is the priority and being first is icing on the cake.
Posted at 1:31 PM, Mar 09, 2016

Blue Origin thinks it will take tourists to space by 2018.

Founder Jeff Bezos said if testing for its New Shepard rocket goes well, recreational spaceflight could be here in a few short years. Bezos told reporters: "I want us to be safe. If we end up being first, that would be fine. But that's not the goal."

So basically, Bezos is saying safety is key and spaceflight isn't a race, but sometimes, it sure feels like one.

For instance, Bezos' remarks come less than a month after Virgin Galactic unveiled the second model of its commercial spacecraft, the VSS Unity.

Virgin Galactic is also hoping to take tourists on brief flights to space one day for $250,000 a ticket.

Blue Origin's development of a re-usable rocket is also happening alongside SpaceX's attempts to do the same.

Blue Origin has actually managed to land a rocket successfully, then re-launch that same rocket and return it to Earth again.

SpaceX has re-landed a rocket of its own but only one time. Although, its Falcon 9 is larger and goes farther than Blue Origin's test rocket, and the landing conditions are quite a bit different.

So maybe Blue Origin isn't seeing this as a race, but with all these companies sharing similar goals, it looks an awful lot like they're competing to be first.

Plus being the first on the market seems a bit more important when tourists are buying tickets to space that cost as much as a house.

This video includes clips from Blue Origin.