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When will Blue Origin send a paying customer to space?

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the world's richest human, has invested significant resources in his aerospace company Blue Origin. While Blue's long-term goal is to establish a large permanent presence of humans in space, its first major project was the New Shepard reusable launch vehicle, intended to take humans and payloads into space for brief periods of time.

In 2015, New Shepard became the first booster rocket to reach space and land vertically (although it was succeeded by SpaceX's Falcon 9, an orbital rocket that landed vertically, and preceded by NASA's Space Shuttle, an orbital rocket that landed horizontally). However, five years later, New Shepard has made a total of twelve publicly-known flights and has still never flown humans.

When will Blue Origin send a paying customer to space?

  • This question resolves as the date when Blue Origin or its successor organization (where succession through mergers, etc. is at the discretion of the admins) sends paying customer(s) to space, as determined by credible media reports.
  • A paying customer is a human that either pays Blue Origin for the flight, or is paid for by another organization such as NASA. It must be evident that money or equivalent consideration (stock, etc.) changed hands in an arm's-length transaction. In particular, they cannot be Blue Origin employees, test pilots, or investors.
  • The customer(s) in question must exceed an altitude of 100 km, return to Earth, and safely exit the launch vehicle.
  • The vehicle need not be New Shepard, but Blue Origin must be the primary manufacturer.
  • If it turns out that this has already occurred (as Blue Origin often announces an achievement well after the fact), the question resolves as the lower bound, not as ambiguous.


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