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A Few Photos From Secretive Blue Origin: Is That a Crew Capsule?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the no-way-man-area-51-is-way-more-secret dept.

NASA 70

RocketAcademy writes "Among the emerging commercial space transportation companies, Blue Origin is the most secretive and mysterious. A VIP tour by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver afforded a rare glimpse inside Blue Origin's headquarters, including a look at what appears to be a Blue Origin crew capsule."

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Slashdot is for fags. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282631)

Not Gay Fags, no. Worse. I mean FAT, AUTISTIC, GEEKS!

Fapping to Little Ponies while compiling your Linux kernel for the 32nd time to hope your obscure wifi driver works. Slashdot, the worst of the internet since 1997. Wikipedia, putting [citation needed] on the blinding obvious. Admit you are all worse than reddit, fark and even 4chan if you are Slashdot user or Wikipedia editor.

Dr. Maswogner

Re:Slashdot is for fags. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282699)

Fat, Autistic, Geeks! - FAG? - I think you mean RSM

Re:Slashdot is for fags. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282793)

Autistic? No. Although everyone of them likes to pretend to have "Asperger's Syndrome". Geek chic, and all that.

As for autism itself, well, it could be argued with some validity that everyone is autistic: check out the 89 page-long list of autism symptoms, and see how many of those you can claim for yourself. Chances are it'll be at least four. Very few living Humans can't claim at least that many, and most can say they have even more than that.

Autism research is just another gravytrain, as well as an excuse to proudly announce "My child is different and special". (The claim to have the bullshit Asperger's Syndrome condition is made for the same reasons by everyone who has ever reinstalled Microsoft Windows.)

Re:Slashdot is for fags. (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41283035)

So you have to reinstall Windows because your child has Asperger's syndrome?

Ah, I understand: The kid uses every opportunity to wipe Windows from the hard drive and replace it with Linux! :-)

Re:Slashdot is for fags. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283851)

And there it is: "I'm a flabby stay-at-home who's never had a girlfriend and I like to believe that using Ubuntu means I'm a genius aspie!"

Bad news, I'm afraid. You're not a genius, and you are not an aspie. You're just another loser.

Re:Slashdot is for fags. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283887)

Same could be said if by any non-professional looking at the list of symptoms in psychological diagnosis manuals like the DSM or WHO's equivalent. Researchers and professionals are aware that everyone has those traits to some degree. But those symptoms in diagnosis lists don't mean you have it to any degree, but above some threshold that is much less common and that even many self-diagnosed people would fail to meet. Listing a symptom that everyone has is obviously pointless, which is why anyone familiar with what is involved in such diagnosis know that there is a lot more effort and training in being able to know where the threshold for such issues is.

Re:Slashdot is for fags. (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about 2 years ago | (#41286597)

Autism research is just another gravytrain, as well as an excuse to proudly announce "My child is different and special".

Given that that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, allow me to be the one to declare this as complete bollocks. Thank you.

Looks like a Soyuz capsule (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282671)

Seriously - maybe they bought used components or are just ripping off the design to stay relevant?

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41282817)

Seriously - maybe they bought used components or are just ripping off the design to stay relevant?

My thoughts as well. Bear in mind that the Soyuz TMA is probably the most successful manned space craft ever. More of them have flown than anything else combined. They power the manned programs of Russia, China and India.

Sort of the AK-47 of the space capsule world.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282843)

Your post really works when read in the Checkoff voice from Star Trek:TOS.

Now, just add, "Vie of course! Dee Capsool vaz invented in Rrrushi-ua!"

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

VanessaE (970834) | about 2 years ago | (#41286227)

Checkoff?? Surely you mean Chekov. You may turn in your geek card.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41283007)

Sort of the AK-47 of the space capsule world.

You mean that it's going to be popular with insurgent, revolutionary and terrorist space agencies?

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41283299)

You spelled "freedom fighter" wrongly.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283409)

"future gitmo phase 2 resident"

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 2 years ago | (#41283207)

And right now it's powering the USA's space program too. Without the shuttles, it is currently the only man-rated launch vehicle operating.You want to get to the ISS? You're going up in a Soyuz

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41290191)

Until Boeing gets the CST-100 built, or SpaceX uprates their Dragon capsule, or if the Chinese want to let you fly in one of their Shenzhou [wikipedia.org] spacecraft. Orbital Science is also working on a crew-rated capsule too.

Still, since the ISS partners don't trust China for trips to the ISS, the Soyuz spacecraft is pretty much the only way to get there at the moment.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41283429)

Sort of the AK-47 of the space capsule world.

Yeah, occasionally something jams

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283925)

Yep I know it is a great capsule. I have personally met a few cosmonauts who love the thing. Their only complaint is that you eat your knees as you sit in it but they would rather do that and be pretty much guaranteed they'll get home safely.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 years ago | (#41284839)

in soviet russia, soyuz flys you! .... oh wait

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286691)

And Soyuz is a lot like the GE proposal for the Apollo program. http://www.astronautix.com/articles/wastolen.htm

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (3, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#41283051)

It makes sense actually, orbital reentry presents some pretty demanding engineering challenges, and your options are basically to try something completely new or clone a time-tested design. The Apollo/Gemini/etc style conic capsules have history on their side, while the Soyuz was designed to have an extremely high volume-to-surface area ratio (closely related to the ever-important volume-to-weight ratio), while providing good lift and air control (a sphere would be purely ballistic).

Then there's space-places like the shuttle, which is basically a one-of design at this point in terms of repeated use, and doesn't have the best track record. It's also been criticized for making some serious design compromises to enable it to do a lot of things that it has rarely if ever actually done.

Other variants like SpaceShipOne are interesting, but only really relevant to suborbital flights - getting up there is the easy part, going fast enough to stay up takes the other 90% of the energy, and without a heatshield you also need to carry along enough fuel to slow down again instead of letting atmospheric friction do the work for you, more than doubling the fuel requirements.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41290399)

I don't know if the SpaceShipOne design is necessarily inappropriate for orbital spaceflight. Certainly some other way to get more velocity is needed (like perhaps a significant booster engine being used by Stratolaunch) and there would need to be some sort of thermal tiles added to "SpaceShipThree" resembling what was done for the Space Shuttle. The "shuttlecock" re-entry mode thought up by Burt Rutan has some interesting characteristics which would be very useful to at least explore in terms of how much further that engineering design can be used and how far it can be scaled up. For returning smaller payloads from orbit, it may even be a very useful design. The nice thing about the "shuttlecock" design is that it has passive guidance rather than needing a pilot showing skill on re-entry. A pilot can be unconscious and still technical survive at least the atmospheric re-entry itself, even if not necessarily the landing.

Still, energy is really the key to spaceflight, and you need a whole lot of energy spent very quickly in order to get into orbit.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41292357)

But you might not have to dump the energy very quickly to get back down.
      Which is where the shuttlecock is about.

Maybe orbital speed at the right altitude gives the same loads and heating as normal flying.
    (Probably takes weeks to get down that way though?)

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41294909)

You still need to dump energy getting down. That is why heat shields get so hot, as it is the atmosphere + shield which is absorbing all of the kinetic energy of the spacecraft on its way back to the surface.

An alternative solutions has been proposed by JP Aerospace [jpaerospace.com] with an alternative launch + reentry vehicle design that uses airships rather than rockets. It seems like a really crazy idea as it is something that nobody else has even considered and doesn't really have anything to be used in comparison. Still, JP Aerospace seems to have a whole lot of experience with high altitude balloons and being able to operate them from a high altitude remotely. Their goal is to send hundreds of tons of supplies into orbit for under a million dollars. If they can pull it off, it would radically change commercial spaceflight. There would still be a need for conventional rockets, but they would be fast couriers rather than the only game in town.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#41317443)

The problem with the airship/balloon concept is that while it can get you above most of the Earths atmosphere it doesn't actually get you anywhere close to orbit. Think of it this way: since they depend on buoyancy balloons can only approach the edge of the dense atmosphere - about 60km above sea-level, but to maintain a stable orbit you need to be above the thin atmosphere as well - any orbit below 200km will rapidly decay. Moreover the real killer is speed - in terms of just the raw energy delta needed to reach LEO (ignoring implementation details) only about 10% of it goes to reaching the desired altitude - the other 90% goes to getting going fast enough to *stay* up (7+km/s).

Where there could be potential for airships is in conjunction with something like a tumbling-cable space elevator where an airship could conceivably position itself below a descending end and transfer a capsule to be hauled into orbit so that the elevator only has to deal with the extremely thin far upper atmosphere.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41320165)

I would suggest you look at what JP aerospace is proposing. The interesting thing is that they are working on propellers that can work at very high altitudes for thrust, and their long-term plan is indeed to use airships for travel into orbit, not just high altitude locations. They are fully aware of the delta-v requirements, and it is a part of their business plan and development model for their vehicles to get there.

Yes, a simple balloon like a weather balloon is not going to get you there, and those folks who put on demonstrations in a stratosphere saying how they got into space really haven't. I get that, but then again there is a reason why the upper stratosphere is called the "ignorosphere", because it is pretty much out of reach for most long term studies. Orbital altitudes have quite a bit of information and experience has built up due to space stations like the ISS, Mir, and Skylab (as well as the Manned Orbital Laboratory and the Salyut stations that were developed before those other stations). The lower stratosphere is understood due to commercial jet aviation and some military experience, but the upper atmosphere is too thick for spacecraft and too thin for most forms of aviation. That is where the JP Aerospace "airship to orbit" is trying to make a difference, with technologies that specifically operate in this regime and can get this necessary delta-v with the main issue that the delta-v will be accumulated over the course of a week instead of in a ten minute period of time like is the case with rocketry.

I have no idea if these guys can pull it off, but it certainly is a novel approach to spaceflight.

That other approaches might be possible as well, it doesn't mean this particular concept won't work.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#41324669)

Ah, It seems that when I skimmed their site I spotted their publicity stunts and missed their actual plan. That does look intriguing, though I have my doubts about whether the second suborbital-to-orbit stage is feasible - my gut tells me that if the air is dense enough to support an airship then traveling through it at several km/s is going to be a challenge, but it could well be wrong.

If they're really going to test the high-altitude prototype soon that will be one to watch...

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#41317663)

Speed is a much bigger issue than you're thinking, reaching 60km (the so called "edge of space") only takes ~10% as much energy as it does to then reach orbital velocity (~8 km/s). Reentry has the same problem - there's just no way to do it gracefully - sure at 60 km the ultra-thin atmosphere will cause your orbit to gracefully decay... right up until you get into the thicker lower atmosphere, at which point you suddenly realize you're traveling at about Mach 23 and the front end of your craft is beginning to vaporize from the extreme heat of the compression front you're creating.

Now I'm not prepared to say the SS1's technique will *never* be useful for such a situation - but at those sorts of speeds things like graceful control become a distant second to not getting ripped apart, and those shuttle-cock wings say to me "lots of important fiddly bits that will be difficult to shield from the heat and forces involved in traveling at hyper-sonic speeds.

Re:Looks like a Soyuz capsule (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41320547)

There are ways to make re-entry possible without the traditional ballistic re-entry process that currently is being used. You need to manipulate your overall density and engage in some flight dynamics that haven't really been explored to any significant degree, so it really is bleeding edge science. In theory you could ride something appearing like a surf board and be able to attempt re-entry without a capsule (something seriously considered for emergency situations for crewed flight in orbit) and you may also be able to ride some aerogels or something else with a huge surface area compared to weight that may "skip" across the atmosphere a fair bit longer than sinking into the atmosphere in a metal capsule.

The trick is to dissipate the energy over a longer period of time, as what happens in reentry is the kinetic energy is transformed into heat energy. Taking longer implies that the heat energy doesn't get pushed onto the vehicle in a short period of time.

Yes, I realize the speed is huge for orbital spaceflight. It still is an energy budget that you are dealing with.

I would need to review the mathematics of the whole endeavor, but it may be possible to use something like the SpaceShip One shuttecock system for very small payloads (about 5-10 kg) where you end up with still another flight regime, with the small size of the "re-entry vehicle" being able to do things that a larger scale vehicle can't get away with. The U.S. Air Force for a great many years experimented with small return vehicles for their photo reconnaissance missions with actual film being returned in those re-entry vehicles. I would imagine that there could be commercial applications where due to bandwidth issues or simply for operational security that you may want perform a similar "micropayload" return vehicle.

Certainly there are other ideas on how to engage in spaceflight, where not all possible ideas have been tried. There are certainly drawbacks to any other alternative, but if those drawbacks can become strengths in some cases, it may be worth looking at.

That is a Spacecraft, sir (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41282689)

we do not refer to it as a "capsule"

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282877)

we do not refer to it as a "capsule"

I see. Care to then correct the other folks who would disagree?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_capsule

(you might also note they use the word "spacecraft" as well on that page...)

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#41283161)

Whoosh...

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (4, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | about 2 years ago | (#41283449)

Ehm, sorry to break it to you, but it is better if you don't comment, since you haven't got the Right Stuff...

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41285327)

He took that AC up, pushed the outside of the envelope and bought the farm. Don't worry though. We think there's another AC that might have what it takes to break the knowledge barrier.

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283809)

and the Shuttle Enterprise was just like the USS Enterprise.

if you can't build startrek, might as well rename what you have so you can pretend, right?

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about 2 years ago | (#41286893)

Is it a red capsule or a blue one?

Re:That is a Spacecraft, sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41289379)

Spam in a can.
What geek could refuse?

It isn't really a spacecraft (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#41291383)

It's not really a spacecraft until it travels in space. What you are seeing is probably a mock-up of a spacecraft.

Let's be serious, folks. Sierra Nevada did a captive carry test, in which they took their model and dragged it around on a helicopter for a while. Blue Origin might not have gotten that far. Meanwhile SpaceX fully qualified their cargo solution, has a contract to carry real cargo, and is working on the manned version. So far, exactly one of the companies mentioned has a spacecraft.

Won't work (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41282777)

This private space buzz will die out just like it did the first time. (link [wikipedia.org] )

I fail to see the entertainment value in going up in an uncontrollable firecracker to go float around a cramped tin can for a few minutes.

With 1970s tech you can outfly a Saturn V to 100,000 feet and have the fun of being in a fighter jet. It's called a F-15 Streak Eagle. If there were so much demand for these types of trips, there would be a lot more private jet fighters since a few decades.

This private space nonsense is just this generation's millionaires' fantasies.

F-15 Streak Eagle: " In setting the last of the eight records, it reached an altitude of 98,425 feet just 3 minutes, 27.8 seconds from brake release at takeoff and "coasted" to nearly 103,000 feet before descending."

Re:Won't work (3, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41282871)

I fail to see the entertainment value in going up in an uncontrollable firecracker to go float around a cramped tin can for a few minutes.

I fail to see the entertainment value in sitting for hours on a worn sofa shoveling salt and sugar into one's mouth for hours... As with the evening Couch ride vs the Rocket ride, it's the view that's important, not the vehicle.

Re:Won't work (1)

RocketAcademy (2708739) | about 2 years ago | (#41282969)

If there were so much demand for these types of trips, there would be a lot more private jet fighters since a few decades.

The last time I checked, the Classic Jet Aircraft Association reported over 300 jet warbirds in private hands.

Just because you aren't interested doesn't mean nobody is.

Re:Won't work (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41282989)

If you read the article, you'll find out that the company was stopped for political reasons. On one hand, the fear that knowledge about building missiles could get into some African countries where the company had testing facilities, and on the other hand political pressure from some powers that didn't want Germany to have their own long range rocket technology.

Re:Won't work (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41286671)

and on the other hand political pressure from some powers that didn't want Germany to have their own long range rocket technology.

Given they pretty much invented it, it seems ironic on one hand and yet totally understandable on the other...

Re:Won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41284423)

I fail to see the appeal of some kinds of music, but that doesn't stop it from making more money than the private space industry currently does.

Re:Won't work (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41286371)

I fail to see the entertainment value in going up in an uncontrollable firecracker to go float around a cramped tin can for a few minutes.

Since that value exists despite your failure to see it, maybe you ought to educate yourself first before commenting further. It's got to be one of the top five annoying Slashdotter traits, that if I can't see how to do something, then it must not be possible.

Re:Won't work (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41330785)

Even if it does fail at least it managed to put things in space and in orbit unlike the last round. An F-15 does not allow you to go to the edge of space or experience zero gravity.

Prototypes (2)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 2 years ago | (#41282859)

These of course match the grey's prototypes from Hangar 18.

Maybe somewhere along the line... (-1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41283045)

...someone should have mentioned WTF "Blue Origin" is. Apparently its so secretive, I have no idea as to what it is. Not interested enough to find out either...

Re:Maybe somewhere along the line... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283191)

And yet interested enough to post in the discussion thread about it; curious. The summary says it's a space transportation company, what else did you want to know? Of course, you were probably in such a rush to post your lame-ass comment that you didn't read the summary either.

Re:Maybe somewhere along the line... (0)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41284339)

And yet interested enough to post in the discussion thread about it; curious. The summary says it's a space transportation company, what else did you want to know? Of course, you were probably in such a rush to post your lame-ass comment that you didn't read the summary either.

Ah yes, the Anonymous Coward weighs in. It was pretty easy to imagine that it was space related, but it would have been nice to have a little more detail.

Just tossing in my 2c about article writers who presume that everyone knows the little things they know about.

Sort of like when someone starts a "Why doesn't everyone want linux on the desktop?" thread where everyone debates the technical merits, while not realizing that its a solution in search of problem, and that the technical details aren't relevant.

Now, you do realize that taking the time to snurf on someone elses comment being lame is somewhat more lame than the original lameness, right? Maybe next time you'll post with your actual account...you know, like an actual man?

Re:Maybe somewhere along the line... (2)

Pirate_Pettit (1531797) | about 2 years ago | (#41283201)

Yes, the name is reminiscent of evil videogame megacorps or secretive sci-fi splinter groups. If I saw this name in fiction, I'd shake my head and laugh at how silly it was.

Re:Maybe somewhere along the line... (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | about 2 years ago | (#41303595)

...someone should have mentioned WTF "Blue Origin" is. Apparently its so secretive, I have no idea as to what it is. Not interested enough to find out either...

Yes, we do a shitty job of reporting information, like leaving out large portions of "what the hell is this and what does it mean", and thats worthy of a -1 troll rating.

I used to think the group moderation scheme was a good one, but apparently many people don't understand how it works. You see, a 'troll' is when someone posts something wrong or unnecessarily inflammatory, with the primary intention of riling people up.

Reporting a story saying "Wow, this is really exciting!" without saying what it is, or why its exciting...well...thats a little less than worthless. If you already know, then you didn't really need the news. If you don't, then reporting incompletely stories isn't particularly worthwhile.

Background information (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41283137)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin_New_Shepard [wikipedia.org]

The purple thing is a capsule for BO's reusable suborbital rocket "New Shepard". BO got some money from the 2009 era stimulus package for some minor development work related to it. It is the "composite pressure vessel" mentioned in the wiki link. The capsule sits atop the vertical take off/vertical landing reusable suborbital rocket, and separates in the event of an accident.

The biconic capsule in the third picture was part of Blue Origin's entry for later commercial crew development work for NASA. It would carry seven crew to the ISS, and launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket, or later Blue Origin's own future reusable orbital rocket. They were awarded about 20 million in the first round of funding which that wind tunnel test was part of, among other participants like SpaceX's Dragon, Boeing's CST-100, and SpaceDev's Dreamchaser who received larger amounts of funding. Further money for such development work was slashed by congress and so BO's entry was winnowed out.

Re:Background information (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41291169)

What "stimulus money" did Blue Origin actually get? I'm curious and calling your bluff as I don't think there is any.

Looks very Soyuz-ish (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#41283495)

Oh well. I didn't think the US was actually serious about manned spaceflight anymore.

Re:Looks very Soyuz-ish (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41283899)

The US Government may have lost enthusiasm and momentum but at least they've stopped putting up incessant roadblocks to commercial entities developing space travel.

Of course they're going to do EXACTLY the same thing with Space Travel that they've in the process of doing with The Internet (ie wait till it *really* gets going well then do their best to completely STIFLE it with regulations-and-taxes).

After all, the true measure of successful governance is MORE REGULATIONS AND TAXES, isn't it?

Re:Looks very Soyuz-ish (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41290571)

To quote Burt Rutan on the topic:

If it moves, tax it.

If it keeps moving, regulate it.

If it stops moving, subsidize it.

I think he was quoting some other bloke, but I tend to agree that is general philosophy of governance in America and most of the rest of the world.

We are right now in sort of a "golden era" of spacecraft construction, where anybody with a few million dollars can slap together a rocket and go into space with a minimum of regulation. Sort of like how the automobile industry was like a hundred years ago or so. Or like how the aviation industry was for companies building aircraft. Eventually it will shake down to just a few or even a single company and be almost impossible to make a startup in the industry.

Secretive like a consumer tech company? (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41283599)

There's only one obvious reason for a spacecraft company to be secretive. They're involved in a top secret military project.

Then again, maybe Blue Origin is trying to be the Apple Inc of the space transport biz. Except that Blue Origin's chief financial backer is a web billionaire named Jeff Bezos. So maybe Blue Origin is trying to be secretive like Amazon?

Maybe BO has figured out a way to bring down space fares to a new low, a Kindle Fire among the iPads of the launch industry? That, or JB is trying to cover up the lack of progress.

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (3, Funny)

Kittenman (971447) | about 2 years ago | (#41283687)

Maybe BO has figured out a way to bring down space fares to a new low, ...

Sort of an unfortunate acronym, really. Though I imagine things get pretty high in a confined space where several people sit for a few days, under stress and can't open a window...

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41283985)

There's only one obvious reason for a spacecraft company to be secretive. They're involved in a top secret military project.

Then again, maybe Blue Origin is trying to be the Apple Inc of the space transport biz. Except that Blue Origin's chief financial backer is a web billionaire named Jeff Bezos. So maybe Blue Origin is trying to be secretive like Amazon?

Maybe BO has figured out a way to bring down space fares to a new low, a Kindle Fire among the iPads of the launch industry? That, or JB is trying to cover up the lack of progress.

Maybe its really Black Origin then?

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (2)

Third Position (1725934) | about 2 years ago | (#41284761)

There's only one obvious reason for a spacecraft company to be secretive. They're involved in a top secret military project.

Well, that or a lack of significant achievements. When you don't have a viable product available there isn't much point in blowing your own horn, is there?

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286411)

Off Topic but I though it was quite humorous that Jeff Bezos' presentation of the new Kindle was ripping off Steve Jobs' presentations.
Big gray gradient screen, white letters, casual outfit, product demos , etc. I bet if an intrepid reporter asked what presentation software they used, they'd find it was Mac Keynote.
How funny.

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41286785)

There's only one obvious reason for a spacecraft company to be secretive. They're involved in a top secret military project.

Then again, maybe Blue Origin is trying to be the Apple Inc of the space transport biz. Except that Blue Origin's chief financial backer is a web billionaire named Jeff Bezos. So maybe Blue Origin is trying to be secretive like Amazon?

Maybe BO has figured out a way to bring down space fares to a new low, a Kindle Fire among the iPads of the launch industry? That, or JB is trying to cover up the lack of progress.

the secrecy is to douse flames that NASA is paying them for nothing.

simple? (how is it a private company when it's money source is NASA contracts, which seem to be much like in fashion like when building Apollo.. plenty of parts were done by outside companies, usually defense contractors)

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41290955)

the secrecy is to douse flames that NASA is paying them for nothing.

simple? (how is it a private company when it's money source is NASA contracts, which seem to be much like in fashion like when building Apollo.. plenty of parts were done by outside companies, usually defense contractors)

The money that NASA gives Blue Origin is peanuts for their operating expenses. Most of the money is stuff they get straight from Jeff Bezos and from a few private contracts they have received over the years. It certainly is disingenuous to suggest that NASA is the only source of money and that this company (by implication) is living off of the teat of government largess due to a couple fairy god-senators.

Jeff Bezos is trying to build a company which will be doing stuff in space. The long term goal is to build spacecraft and other things that may be cool to perform in space as well, and in the long term perhaps make a profit as well. It will take decades and millions of dollars to get that to happen, but it is a risk he is willing to take and it is his own damn money to do with as he pleases. He doesn't answer to shareholders (Jeff Bezos is the only shareholder of Blue Origin), and except for those specific projects which he performed contracts for NASA,he doesn't need to tell anybody else what he is doing. Perhaps the IRS, but I doubt Blue Origin has turned a profit and may even be officially called a "hobby" according to IRS rules (for failure to turn a profit in over five years of business). That just means Jeff Bezos can't write off losses by Blue Origin as a business loss to reduce taxes.

The reason NASA has gone to Blue Origin at all is because Blue Origin has some pretty competent aerospace engineers and have previously built some stuff that is impressive... at least to NASA engineers. NASA put out a "request for proposals" on some projects, and not only did Blue Origin feel confident that they could compete for those projects that they bid upon against a great many other companies, Blue Origin even beat out several "traditional" aerospace companies including Alliant Techsystems (ATK). In other words they had to impress NASA that they could meet the terms of the contract, and so far that seems to be the case too.

As for why there is secrecy, it is a combination that Jeff Bezos doesn't give a damn about publicity on his private space program, and that by keeping things secret he isn't accused of vaporware when he finally has something to show for all of the money he has dumped into the company. Perhaps he is embarrassed by the fact that he doesn't have as much to show for that money as he would hope. It doesn't really matter what the reason is other than he doesn't have to reveal anything at all.

If you are googling for contracts and can only find NASA as a source of money, that is in part because NASA contracts are the only thing by law that Jeff Bezos must disclose.

Re:Secretive like a consumer tech company? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41289969)

BO tried to not work with government.

From last I heard BO was completely owned by Bezos, I think that whatever BO Intellectual Property produces and Patents, Jeff will own.

Like water filters, cordless tools, and memory foam from NASA.

So *that's* what YoYoDyne has been building. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41284199)

Next stop - Planet Ten.

So, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41285363)

What did this 'arcticle' show or say that hasn't been really, really old news for a really, really long time?

Re:So, (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41291085)

Mainly that the capsule isn't just a concept on paper but that "metal is bent" and the capsule appears to be moving well down the path of becoming something real that may fly in space. Far too many companies don't even make it that far, so it is an accomplishment to be noted. Bending metal costs serious money and doesn't really give you an immediate payoff for having done that. It tends to separate out the scams from serious efforts trying to get into space as well... or for any other similar kind of engineering objective.

RUST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41286079)

Looks like rust along the bottom edge of the blue metal side...

Will Be the Cost Leader in Space Travel (1)

rshol (746340) | about 2 years ago | (#41288011)

But Astronauts must click through an ad to get to the guidance and control system.

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