Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon, founder of Blue Origin, and the world’s foremost individual investor in the expansion of the opportunity to access and conduct business in space. Started in 2000, Blue Origin is a privately-funded aerospace company developing launch systems and technologies to enable commercial human space transportation. An inexpensive and reliable heavy-lift infrastructure sets the stage to usher in a flourishing space economy. Reusability is the key to driving costs dramatically lower.
To that end, Blue Origin successfully produced highly innovative engines based on ambitious requirements such as restart capability, and deep throttle for vertical powered landing. The liquid hydrogen-fueled BE-3 and its upper stage variant BE-3U, are being developed concurrently with the large methane-based BE-4, which will be used in ULA’s planned Vulcan launch system as well as Blue Origin’s own rockets.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard will provide space tourism flights beyond the Karman line, the internationally recognized boundary of space, and the New Glenn heavy booster is due to begin launching large satellite payloads in 2020. New Glenn will also be capable of serving lunar and cis-lunar destinations. A Blue Moon lander and larger New Armstrong rocket have been hinted at.
Bezos has repeatedly leveraged his uncanny ability to identify previously unimagined markets; emerging as a leader within them, but also accelerating those industries’ development. Started in 1994, before e-commerce became ubiquitous, today Amazon is the world’s highest-grossing online marketplace. It has made prescient expansions into streaming, original programming, AI-enabled voice-controlled assistants, a platform for IoT (Internet of Things), and its immense cloud computing services more than 190 countries. Having reimagined e-commerce, logistics, and the Washington Post newspaper, Bezos has turned his prowess towards his life-long passion: space. He has described space’s potential for an entrepreneurial explosion similar to that enabled by the rise of the internet.
In 1986, Bezos was president of the SEDS chapter (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) at Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude in electrical engineering and computer science.