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Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin delays maiden rocket launch into 2022

Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket was originally scheduled to lift off later this year.

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The race into space is incredibly complicated, even leaving the world’s best minds to deal with setbacks. Blue Origin, the aeronautics firm founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, has announced a delay in the launch of its next-generation New Glenn rocket. The delay will knock lift-off back one full year from its originally scheduled launch in late 2021.

The company pinned the delay onto its failure to secure government funding contracts from the Pentagon. Rival firms SpaceX and United Launch Alliance were awarded the contracts last year ahead of failed bids from Blue Origin and defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

Conceptual rendering of Blue Origin's Cape Canaveral launch facilities.
Conceptual rendering of Blue Origin's Cape Canaveral launch facilities.

“We hope to launch NSSL payloads in the future, and remain committed to serving the U.S. national defense mission,” Blue Origin said in an official statement. The company now has its eyes set on a fourth-quarter 2022 launch. The New Glenn rocket is currently larger than any other craft that has been launched into space. It stands 320 feet tall and is designed to withstand up to twenty-five launches.

In the absence of lucrative government contracts, Jeff Bezos has been bankrolling the project personally through sales of his personal Amazon stock. Bezos reportedly funnels as much as one billion dollars per year into Blue Origin. The company has spent billions on structures and equipment in Cape Canaveral, Florida in anticipation of future missions utilizing New Glenn.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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