Making Space Affordable

Colorado Springs, Colo. There hasn’t yet been an entrepreneurial golden age for space like there was for the internet because the “big heavy-lifting pieces” aren’t yet in place, the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin said Tuesday at the 32nd Space Symposium here. Jeff Bezos said that when he launched Amazon in 1995, he was driving the packages to the post office himself, but didn’t have to roll out a national transportation network, or build a phone or internet infrastructure. “We need much lower-cost access to space. It’s just still too expensive,” Bezos said. Blue Origin’s mission is “to try to put in place some of that heavy lifting infrastructure, make access to space much lower cost, so that thousands of entrepreneurs can do amazing and interesting things and take us into the next era.” Blue Origin on April 2 successfully launched and landed a reusable rocket in an unmanned test; he said they are on track to put test astronauts in space in 2017, and “paying astronauts” in space in 2018. Eventually, he said, “I want millions of people living and working in space. … I think we need to explore and utilize space in order to save the Earth.”