Jeff Bezos unveils new plans for Blue Origin spaceflight

By Jackie Wattles, CNN Business

Updated 11:46 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019
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4:48 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos has a giant lunar lander model

From CNN Business' Jackie Wattles

A towering model of Blue Origin's lunar lander is on stage.

This is a craft designed to land on and bounce back off of the moon's surface.

“This is an incredible vehicle and it’s going to the moon,” says Bezos.
4:44 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

The price of admission is too high (right now)


“The price of admission to do interesting things in space right now is just too high because there’s no infrastructure," Bezos said.

He's got a plan to fix that, naturally.

4:49 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos: My rockets will launch on time

Rockets aren't on time very often. Delays getting things to orbit is an "under-appreciated" problem in the industry.

"It really snarls things up and costs the payload customers a lot of money," Bezos said.

He added that Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket is designed to change all that. And it was designed to be reusable because it can bring down launch prices.

The latter point is something Elon Musk's SpaceX has harped on for a long time – and his company has already been sending its reusable rockets to space and back for years.

Like every other rocket builder currently operating, SpaceX is also known to delay its launches for various reasons, like weather or hardware issues.

Blue Origin is well underway developing on New Glenn, which is expected to launch for the first time in 2021.

4:38 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos is talking about legitimate space colonies

From CNN Business' Jackie Wattles

Bezos is talking about "O'Neill colonies" -- an idea proposed decades ago by American physicist Gerard K. O'Neill.

He showed pictures of massive spaceborne structures, hundreds of times larger than the International Space Station, that could contain self-sustaining habitats. With greenery growing, animals of all types and people living and working inside.

4:24 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos: An energy crisis is unavoidable

From CNN Business' Jackie Wattles

All the energy conservation in the world won't prevent a crisis, Bezos said.

Eventually we'll reach a point where humans would have to ration.

"That’s the path that we would be on," he said. "It would lead for the first time to where your children and grandchildren have worse lives than you. That's a bad path."

4:16 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos wants attendees to be inspired by space

"If that doesn't inspire you, you are at the wrong event," Jeff Bezos says as he takes the stage right after footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing is shown.

SpaceFlight Now reporter Stephen Clark shared this shot on Twitter:

4:19 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos says we use lots of energy. Here's where space comes in

CNN Business' Jackie Wattles

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos just walked on stage.

The event kicked off with footage of the Apollo moon landings. Now, he's talking about his passion for space and how the Apollo program inspired him growing up.

He's also discussing how going to space can solve some of Earth's problems — namely, energy. Bezos said humans' energy use is growing at such a rate that we're bound to run out.

It's not the first time he's talked about this issue. Experts say that resources found in space (that are very uncommon on Earth) could help us solve that problem.

4:08 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

The doors are open

From CNN Business' Jackie Wattles

The doors are open and a crew of reporters are standing by for Bezos.

Not much is happening right now, but we've still got 20 minutes till liftoff.

GeekWire reporter Alan Boyle shared some of the event's guest list.

CNN Business also spotted Mike Gold, an executive at Maxar that chairs a regulatory and policy committee at NASA.

3:37 p.m. ET, May 9, 2019

Bezos dropped some hints about his super-secret announcement

From CNN Business' Jackie Wattles

We have no idea what Jeff Bezos will talk about.

Well, we have a clue.

Last week, Blue Origin sent a cryptic tweet with the date of today's event and a photo of "Endurance," the ill-fated ship that left explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew stranded during an expedition to Antarctica in 1915.

A crater on the moon's south pole is also named for Shackleton, a hint that Bezos will have a lunar focus.

Media invitations to the event said only that Bezos and Blue Origin will give an update on "progress and share our vision of going to space to benefit Earth."

Spokespeople for Blue Origin declined to share further details.