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Jeff Bezos' Shot At Space

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the more-fun-than-yachts dept.

Space 159

Brad Stone points out his story (due out in Monday's issue of Newsweek) on Jeff Bezos' secret space-oriented company, called Blue Origin -- which aims to launch tourists in a reusable vehicle. The article also touches on some of the other private space ventures you've been reading about lately. (One cool note about Blue Origin is that Neal Stephenson is an employee; I hope he's not allowed anywhere dangerous.)

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Neal's speaking this week. (4, Informative)

KFury (19522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816846)

Neal Stephenson's speaking at Carnegie Mellon on Thursday. I'll have to ask him about the project...

Re:Neal's speaking this week. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816872)

Oh my God, not Neal Stephenson! That's awesome! CowboyNeal in person! WOOHOO! Or is Neal Stephenson some other guy/

NEW ARTICLE TO TROLL ON JESUSGEEKS.NET (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816946)

Jesus Geeks ! [jesusgeeks.net]

That dude's a fag! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816969)

I felt gay just reading cryptonomicon.

Re:That dude's a fag! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816986)

Cryptonomicon ruled you gay wad.

Tthe dotcom equivalent of yacht racing (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817346)

First paul allen, now jeff bezos, and of course other retuired dotcommers all seem bent on space vehicles and x-prize stuff. I think this is their yacht racing. look arond at the uber rich and what do you see?

the clinton era-boom generation of newly-rich are going for the x-prize. the reagan-era deregulation sired rich (like the virgin-atlantic folks and forbes-types) went for balloon racing and round the world plane flights. and the era before that the merger moguls like ted turner were going for yacht racing.

its all alpha-male competition. this time however its the alpha-male-geeks which explains the sci-fi content.

CowboyNeal option... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816848)

needs to be returned on polls.

Re:CowboyNeal option... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817034)

Yes. I am boycotting polls until it returns. If it doesn't return by the end of month, I will re-install the ad blocking for slashdot.

1stPost? (-1, Offtopic)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816849)

1stPost?

Re:1stPost? (-1, Offtopic)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816860)

Doh!

Lesson learnt. I will not try this again.

Great, but... (0, Offtopic)

slimsam1 (591962) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816850)

when will we have lunar web hosting? The ultimate in physical data security.

Re:Great, but... (2, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816902)

A excuse for Uber-latency on IRC. "My IRC host is on the moon."

Re:Great, but... (1)

lamber45 (658956) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817114)

it also might give more opportunity for censorship. After all, Lunar society is likely to be a small population in day-to-day fear of terrorism for some time. For an example of censorship today on Earth, first do a search at Chinese Yahoo for "al quaida is cooler than linux" here [yahoo.com] . Do you connect? Good. Now see what happens when you search for falun gong [yahoo.com] . Strange attitude toward something that isn't any deeper than the first day of a Tae Kwon Do [msu.edu] class...

Patent? (2, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816855)

So has Jeff applied for a patent on this yet?

Re:Patent? (1)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816920)

Thats all we need, interplanetary patent protection...

Go calculate [webcalc.net] something

No, but... (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816951)

So has Jeff applied for a patent on this yet?

No, but I've got a patent on posting humorous content about Jeff Bezos on an online forum, so I'll be seein' you in court, bub!

Re:Patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817056)

do you mean on space travel or space itself?

I believe he does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817237)

Its the one click launch patent.

swiss cheese? (-1, Troll)

t_pet422 (613073) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816861)

I didn't know you could use swiss cheese as a reusable space launch vehicle. Check out more [scaled.com] photos [scaled.com] .

...aims to launch tourists in a reusable vehicle (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816869)

It(TM)©® only(TM)©® takes(TM)©® one(TM)©® click(TM)©®(TM)!(TM)

It(TM)©® only(TM)©® takes(TM)©® one(TM)©® click(TM)©®(TM)!(TM) is© a(TM) registered® trademark(TM) used(TM) with Jeff©'s(TM) permission©. Unauthourized© reproduction(TM) is© expressly® prohibited(TM).

Re:...aims to launch tourists in a reusable vehicl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816906)

1. Launch dot com company
2. Patent everything
3. ???
4. Profit!!!!
5. Launch space tourism company
6. Patent everything
7. ???
8. Profit!!!!

Rinse and repeat

Cease and Desist (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816915)

Attention Mr. teamhasnoi:

I represent Mr. Jeff Bezos and his patent portfolio. We believe that your Slashdot signature, "OpenBeos [sourceforge.net]& Software [bebits.com]," contains intentionally misleading language. Consumers are likely to believe that "OpenBeos" is associated with Mr. Bezos.

As you may be aware, "Bezos" has been copyrighted, patented, and trademarked by Mr. Bezos. In fact, Mr. Bezos also patented the process of trademarking the term "Bezos," to ensure that if his trademark were to expire, he could sue anyone else attempting to register the mark.

We request that you immediately cease and desist all use of the term "Beos," or any other mark which misleads consumers into the false assumption that they are a patron of one of Mr. Bezos' business ventures.

Regards

J. Wilberforce Patterson, Esq.

Re:Cease and Desist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817063)

prepare to be sued by Palm. Inc for claiming one of their trademarks as your own

Re:Cease and Desist (3, Funny)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817078)

Hi, I'm the manager of a clown troupe called "Jerk Bozos". Should I consider having our group renamed?

Thinking about it, I actually believe that our act, which consists of doing ridiculously stupid things and babbling incoherent nonsense, might infringe on Mr. Bezos' activities. We do not want any legal trouble and are willing to fully cooperate with Mr. Bezos' demands. Please advise.

Good Ol' UTF-8 (0, Offtopic)

neurostar (578917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816916)

Well, I was browing along and came across a post which said:

It??? only??? takes??? one??? click?????

It??? only??? takes??? one??? click????? is? a? registered? trademark? used? with Jeff?'s?; permission?. Unauthourized? reproduction? is? expressly? prohibited?.

I was like: "HUH?". Then I remembered I was doing an experiment with Mozilla where I set it to UTF-8 and then I see how messed up by browing experience was... So far this is the climax...

Which leads me to wonder... what's the big deal with all these foreign languages? English has worked fine on the 'net for the last 10 years, so why stop now?

And yes, I'm kidding. ;)

neurostar

Re:Good Ol' UTF-8 (1)

six809 (1961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817052)

If slashdot set a character set in their HTML, everything would, presumably, work nicely (because it would tell your browser how to display stuff). But they don't. So it doesn't.

Another One? (1, Insightful)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816871)

Jeez another person with their own space company. It seems im the only one without one!

Re:Another One? (2, Funny)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816879)

"Now he has a $1.7 billion fortune to try to convert that dream into reality."

Ok, I know now why I have not got one :(

Re:Another One? (2, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816948)

Really? I got one a few days after I got my talk show...

What? You don't have your own talk show yet, either?

Re:Another One? (3, Funny)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816991)

Didn't you get the memo? Well since you seem upset by this, I'll give you some tips for starting your own:
  • Create fancy webpage with fancy drawings on napkins. It also helps to put some mathematical formulas on them.
  • Come up with a cool name. The cooler the name the better, I can't emphasize this enough.
  • Go to Walmart and buy some tupper-ware, garden hoses (roughly 200 feet), and gas containers.
  • Build something resembling a space vehicle out of said parts.
  • Make sure to say on your website: "Our designs take into affect safety in a cost effective way. We have privately tested our craft and it is technologically sound. However, We regret that without more funding we will no longer be able to provide a convenient, easy and safe way to put people into space on their terms."
  • Provide a donation and VC link on the bottom.


Now sit back and watch the funding come in. You too can have a space program for only a $100 investment.

this just in... (4, Funny)

ansleybean (618941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816873)

the federal patent office awarded a patent on space to jeff bezos today. as a result, all extraterrestrial bodies are required to license their existence.

What an amazing stunt! (0, Troll)

r4lv3k (638084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816874)

What was used to shoot Jeff Bezos at space? A really large cannon? Is he expected to survive?

secret (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816877)

"Jeff Bezos' secret space-oriented company, "

Not so secret anymore eh?

harry kim (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816993)

harry kim created the slip stream technology which almost got the voyager crew back to the alpha quadrant.

How long before he files a patent? (1, Redundant)

rrognlie (79008) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816882)

Given his recent history, how long before he and his bozo lawyers file patents on a

"method for the transport and return of civilian passengers to near space in a reusable craft"

?

Re:How long before he files a patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817247)

OOPS there IS prior art here... Didn't we send and return Orin Hatch (A civilian) and even John Glenn (at the time also a civilian) on shuttle launches?
Just because we failed to safely launch and return a simple school-teacher doesn't invalidate the fact that possibly millions of people wish Orin Hatch/John Glenn was on one of the 2 failed missions.

IIRC we have lost 100 people PER day to traffic accidents doesn't this mean that driving to "work" is more dangerous?

Sorry for the three,four or ten martinis I have consumed prior to this post but to leave this hi-jacked thread all I can say is If ya got it; flaunt it. (it meaning $)

Bald Dude's In Space! (4, Funny)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816885)

Bezos is boldly going where no dot-comer has gone before ...

That quote is right underneath a picture of bald Mr. Bezos in which he very subtly resembles Jean Luc Picard ;-).

i dont get it (-1, Flamebait)

alitaa (636041) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816886)

is the new stupid trend to make your own dump space ship or what??

Amazon (4, Funny)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816890)

So is this something else that no one will buy on Amazon, just like the Segway?

Imagine... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816892)

...the look on your mate's face as you OneClick a $20,000 space trip for him off his Amazon account...

Space Race 2.0? (4, Insightful)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816893)

What the hell happened? Did someone declare a second space race and I missed the memo? The X-prize has been around a while, but in the last few weeks I've read of four separate previously-secret ventures to get people into space cheaply. So soon after Columbia, and in the middle of an economic downturn doesn't sound like the greatest time to announce high-risk, expensive projects like these. What gives? Even if the others are just copycats, what pushed the first guy to publish?

Waiting to be enlightened here....

Re:Space Race 2.0? (5, Interesting)

MilesBehind (517130) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816922)

I think it's all pretty much to be expected. I mean, during the boom years, ppl were plopping money on gold-lined swimming pools and lamborghinis. This might be what's to be expected of anyone that came into more money then they knew what to do with. Still, some of them were nerds who grew up gobbling Clarke, Niven and Asimov, which probably caused them to think, while watching a space shuttle launch: "hmmm... I could afford that, too!"

So, five years later, their secret projects are going public, cuz they finally have something that resembles a proper plan.

That, and the fact that NASA's recent stumbles provide a fertile ground for a private, less bueraucratic space-oriented enterprises.

Re:Space Race 2.0? (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817227)

I think you're on target here about this following the Columbia break-up. The first iteration of the private space race closely followed the challenger blowup - now we're in for another round. Unfortunately, all those companies are now, so far as I know, defunct. (IIRC, it was "Rockets Unlimited" and "Houston Aerospace" -- but I could be very wrong.)

Stealing the thunder (2, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817269)

You've also got a cascade effect. As soon as one company publicly announces themselves, a lot of the others are going to want to speak up so the first company doesn't hog the spotlight. This will be especially true if they are currently seeking investors or plan to start doing so in the near future.

Re:Stealing the thunder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817311)

And the Chinese are lauching their first CommieNaught(?) into space this October. That oughta give the U.S. a swift political kick in the ass to get moving again.

Re:Space Race 2.0? (1)

descil (119554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816926)

Look at the planes... they're not so "separate".

Space Access Society meeting this weekend (2, Interesting)

apsmith (17989) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817368)

The Space Access Society [space-access.org] has its annual meeting this weekend; this is the first one since the X prize [xprize.com] was announced to be fully funded last October, and the race has definitely been heating up.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers flight, and a lot of these companies see this year as a terribly symbolic time to actually make it all happen.

It's time :-) Space enterprise will be the next big growth area - and NASA won't have a whole lot to do with it. Think of the shuttle accident as just another piece of motivation these guys need - right now the US has no human spaceflight capability, until one of these companies succeeds, or the shuttle starts flying again. Which do you think will happen first?

If Bezos goes to space, no one else will... (3, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816895)

I'm sure he'd patent the method used to get him there, wouldn't he? And the damn patent office would allow it, because the patent office is his bitch, right?

Then again, leaving Bezos in space might be just what we need...

Re:If Bezos goes to space, no one else will... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816923)

Quick, someone patent a method to get back from space!!

Re:If Bezos goes to space, no one else will... (1)

barista (587936) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817054)

OTOH, he can't say there's no prior art. NASA (etc.) has him trumped there. Even as far as commercial space travel goes, Russia has him trumped.

Neal Stephenson on the payroll... (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816908)

It would be pretty cool if he were there because he's trying to get some experience for a future novel. It'd be especially funny, if comparing this work to Snow Crash, if he were going to have his character be a janitor in a space facility or somesuch, and like our infamous pizza driver, took on the closest weird job of custodial maintenance at this company to get a feel for what his character's life would be...

Re:Neal Stephenson on the payroll... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816980)

janitor in a space

Neal Stephenson might just get a Cease and Desist Order from Sierra or Ken Williams ;-)

Space? Why? (0, Troll)

pummer (637413) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816962)

Why would anyone venture into space privately? We all know that space travel is obviously one of the most dangerous undertakings humanly possible. Why, then, would anyone in their right mind venture into space, let alone with a company which employs Neal Stephenson.

Re:Space? Why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817012)

Why would anyone build a boat and go in the water. You could drown it is dangerous.

Re:Space? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817048)

exactly.

Re:Space? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817105)

Fishing.

What possible food can you catch in space?

Re:Space? Why? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817127)

space fish.

It's called capitalism (1)

dorfsmay (566262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817042)

It is not about what make sense but if there is enough of a market. I believe two different individual have already privately paid to be launched in space (and went there), so we now know that there is a market. The next question is can it be made profitable, although since the founder of the company is a dotcommer, he might not know about that rule of economy.

Another example of market versus logic is the tabaco industry... They make millions by selling a product that cause premature death.

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

I'm not a script, da (638454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817148)

...Jeff Bezos shoots you!

Must......Resist...... (5, Funny)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816964)

Snide....comments......

(awww, screw it) /Muppet Announcer Voice
BEEEZZZOOOOSSSS...IIIINNNNNNnnnn....SPAAAAC CCEEE (/echo space).

Uses for Too Much Money (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816968)

Why aren't these billionaires exploring the depths of the oceans as James "King of the World" Cameron does?

Surely there's interesting stuff down there, like nucular radiation-enlarged squids [nasa.gov] , slime monsters [geocities.com] and maybe a Godzilla-like creature [50megs.com] or two.

Are any of them funding research into solar cells [boeing.com] , wind technology, [nrel.gov] tidal power [murdoch.edu.au] or geothermal [energy.gov] or is it all a great big ego boost? [world-sex-records.com]

Re:Uses for Too Much Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817099)

> Why aren't these billionaires exploring the depths of the oceans as James "King of the World" Cameron does?

I'll take a wild guess....

Because they don't want to.

Re:Uses for Too Much Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817234)

Mod up, insightful

reality distortion field (2, Funny)

astrashe (7452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816972)

He should form a company to sell the machine that generated the reality distortion field he used on his investors.

Re:reality distortion field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817232)

No - Steve Jobs has the patent on that one.

Buy a trip to Venus from spacelaunch.amazon.com (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5816974)

Venus
Other planets orbiting Sol

Features:
  • Raining sulfuric acid
  • 1300 psi atmospheric pressure
  • Average surface temperature 464 degrees C
Launch yourself to Venus and get a free launch to the moon at an additional 10% off Amazon's everyday low price. [Buy both launches and Save]

Customers who shopped for this item also shopped for these items:

Mars

-------
Customer Reviews:
Avg. Customer Review: *****
[Write an online review] and share your thoughts with other customers.
6 of 11 found the following review helpful:
***** This is it!, April 26, 2010
Reviewer: shill49 (see more about me)

This is the best planet. There isn't a lot to do there, but it's relatively uncrowded so if you're an introspective person like me you can "get away from it all" and not have to put up with many other tourists. Granted, you can't go around much because the surface is hot enough to melt lead, and the weather is often cloudy. If you have kids you're probably better off taking a look at Mars.

Ready to Buy?
[Add to shopping cart]
or sign in to turn on 1-click launching (PAT. PEND.)

Don't move your ass to Mars! (2, Funny)

Pseudonymus Bosch (3479) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817162)

Mars? Venus? Man, that's dangerous.

Rekall Inc [imdb.com] offers a safe substitute. You will remember your trip and you will have your souvenirs but you will never leave Mother Earth.

"The Marching Morons" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817360)

did you ever read this story by Cyril Kornbluth [nationalreview.com] ? the smart people running Earth devised an ad campaign to convince all the idiots to board a rocket and move to Venus. in fact, the rockets blew up once in orbit. just seems very appropriate to this story, somehow...heh heh heh

enough money for space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816981)

but enough money to hire back the laid off victims of the .com era?

prick.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5816994)

I can't believe it. I actually almost respect Jeff Bezos now. Who would have thunk it ;-)

You can see the website now! (1, Redundant)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817000)

People that visited Mars also visited:

Pluto
Uranus

Jeff Bezo's plan to get to the moon (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817006)

1) File crappy patents that are in no way ubique or original.
2)Walk to moon on stacks of patent paperwork.
3)Patent the 'process in which a body may orbit around another'.

can it be THAT bad!? (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817036)

I agree that patent abuse sucks, but the patent office can't be doing that bad of a job if we don't hear about new bs daily. Is there a way to view patent applications that were denied?

Jeff Bates?!?! Oh.. (1)

FsG (648587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817009)

Brad Stone points out his story (due out in Monday's issue of Newsweek) on Jeff Bezos' secret space-oriented company

Phew..for a sec, I thought that was Jeff Bates' secret space-oriented company. Its like, gee, whats VA paying him these days?

J E I T S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817015)

http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=8366

Amazing! (3, Funny)

zerOnIne (128186) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817016)

From the more-fun-than-yachts department

Billionaires secretly building rockets and other spaceships isn't all that surprising; but a Slashdot editor using "than" properly in lieu of the much more popular "then"... now *that's* what I call news!

Crash and Burn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817031)

I think a few of these ventures are going to give a whole new meaning to their Dot-Com founders understanding of the term "Crash and Burn".

So... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817039)

... if a Bear and a Gorilla got into a fight ..

IN SPACE ,.. .. who would win?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817051)

Mod parent up!

A great quote from the artilce... (2, Insightful)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817046)

A great quote from the article really points to something that is pretty neat, IMHO, "The computer and Internet revolutions have given a great deal of capital to the 'Star Wars' fans."

It really is a good point, never befor have so many "nerds" had the cash to do something this cool!

Profitable? (1)

w42w42 (538630) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817053)

He can't make a profit selling books. How does anyone think he'll be profitable at this? He must have found some masochistic investors somewhere.

Re:Profitable? (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817069)

It's his company that can't make a profit. Jeff himself is actally a billionaire.

John Hurt in "Contact" (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817066)

Floating upside down and avoiding The Man. That's what this reminds me of.

Oh! Joy! (0)

occamboy (583175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817071)

More nonsense from Bezos that will never work, and waste a ton of dough. Is it any wonder that those really useful and popular Segway thingies are sold on Amazon?

Bezos and South African paypal entreprenuer (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817074)

Both these guys are going to find out that because they have some greenbacks doesn't translate to space success. Space is very expensive. Both of them want it for cheap and it's not going to happen.

Now we know why Bezos patented 1-Click (1)

xmldude (303952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817079)

Click here to launch with 1-Click

bunny of death!

Somebody claiming to be Jeff Bezos' son... (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817087)

there's a thread on this at spymac, with a better picture: here [spymac.com]

Re:Somebody claiming to be Jeff Bezos' son... (3, Informative)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817143)

He's not claiming to be Bezos' son, he's claiming to be Burt Rutan's son, and the picture he has is therefore of Rutan's SpaceShipOne.

As mentioned in the article (By Bezos himself), Blue Origin haven't actually done anything noteworthy yet.

From the Article:
Bezos himself says, "It's way premature for Blue to say or comment on anything because we haven't done anything worthy of comment."

More Private Companies (3, Insightful)

oaf357 (661305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817101)

Okay, this might seem terrible to say but what happens when one of these guys goes broke? Even worse, when there's an accident? I'm very happy to see progression of this kind because it really doesn't seem like NASA will be doing any for quite some time but have these guys seen the BIG picture? Redesigning rockets from the ground up is a good thing but remember when NASA was designing rockets? They had numerous scrubbed, failed, and fatal launches. Maybe these organizations should get together and pool their resources a little and make sure safety first is a goal. The worst thing that could happen to human space travel would be for another disasterous loss of life to occur. Because if a government can't do it and private organizations can't do it then who can? I wish these people and their employees the best of luck and hope they are successful in their ventures.

Re:More Private Companies (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817391)

These are private companies. If one of their machines goes BOOM I'm sure the crew knew the risks involved. So the general public gets scared of flying to space for a thrill. Meanwhile the daredevils and pioneers have a blast, like the early aviators. If a working, economical design is found I can almost guarantee one crash won't stop the new space race.

Scaled Composites - fake? (4, Insightful)

Traa (158207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817116)

Got to love those journalists that start the article with a picture of a rival company's craft without specifically mentioning that this craft has nothing to do with Mr Bezos.

On top of that, the picture is Photoshopped (whoops, I mean "Gimped" :-)

Compare the bottom of this [scaled.com] picture closely to this [scaled.com] image. Both are from Scaled Composites own site. Scaled Composites is one of the competitors for the X-price.

Note the following fakes:
1) The attachment of the crafts is a Photoshop job. They removed the wheels (look closely at the spot on the small plane that suposedly holds the wheels) and note that they forgot to remove the shadow of the front stand. Also, the shadow on the attachement between the planes is (nicely) faked. For that matter, so is the whole attachment.
2) The small plane does not actually have an exhaust (the red thingy). In all the pictures this thing looks a little different. Note how it is awkwardly in and out of shadow in the above pictures.

Why?

Do investors know about this? Is this common practice for a startup (ok, forget I asked that ;-)? If I photoshop a cool plane, will you give me 1 Gazillion $$ too?

Re:Scaled Composites - fake? (0, Redundant)

Traa (158207) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817133)

I forgot one major fluke in those two (1 [scaled.com] , 2 [scaled.com] ) pictures.

Check out the black exhaust on the big plane (and the lack of it in the other picture)!

DoH!

Hope Bezos makes it into space... (1)

dogfart (601976) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817119)

but if he does, does he have to come back?

Joint Efforts Anyone? (4, Insightful)

kevlar (13509) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817131)

With all these billionares forming their own space oriented companies, what the hell is stopping them from pooling their resources for their common goal?!?! You'd think that if they were capable of doing all this so cheaply, that triple or quadruple the capital would help speed things along...

Re:Joint Efforts Anyone? (1)

tprox (621523) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817190)

That's the last thing we need...a pissing contest between billionaire geeks.

I want it to look like a space shuttle!
I want it to look like a big balloon!
Shut up! I have more money than you!
No you shut up!

High tech (2, Interesting)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817141)

from article: " Rutan has spent a celebrated career designing airplanes like the Voyager, the first aircraft to fly around the world without refueling. He doesn't classify as an immigrant from high tech"

Voyager? Not high tech? The first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping for fuel? Methinks he's pretty modest ... y'know, I think I like this guy.

SB

Neal Stephenson: Tripoli's first Cert Level 4? (4, Interesting)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817256)

Stephenson is into high-power rocketry. I once asked him, at a signing, what Tripoli / NAR* Cert Level (the internally-administered skill level which determines the size of rocket motors one can purchase) he'd achieved.

He'd gotten to Level Two, which requires a written test and successfully launching a carefully inspected large rocket. As I recall, it lets you use "J" and "K" motors. (For those who flew Estes motors as kids, this is the equivalent of 64 and 128 D motors.)

Level Three requires a really large and sturdy rocket, and lets you use monstrous M motors.

(I was certified in the early 90s before there were levels, but let it lapse during grad school; when I tried for level one last year I failed because my model's nose cone popped off due to internal pressure. Nothing damaged, but that was enough to scuttle the attempt.)

Now I'm picturing him filling out the paperwork for Cert Level 4: Manned Flight.

Stefan

* Tripoli Rocketry Association / National Association of Rocketry

Billionaire in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817262)

reminds me of Hugo Drax from Moonraker...

Jeff's New Patent (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5817351)

Jeff wil now patent the Space Shuttle to lock out competition with his venture..

My bet is less than 12 months away for that patent

Jeff Bezos Shot Into Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5817387)

When I first saw the headline I missed the apostrophe: Jeff Bezos Shot At Space -- I dunno, it might be worth a shot!
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