Veteran astronaut Nicholas Patrick is joining Blue Origin. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Nicholas Patrick, the fifth British astronaut to go to space and a NASA veteran, has joined the Blue Origin team to provide his expertise as a human integration architect.

Blue Origin, the often-secretive commercial space venture started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is based south of Seattle and is one of the companies using funding from NASA to develop commercial spaceflight technologies to transport astronauts and cargo following the end of the Space Shuttle program.

Patrick brings a wealth of space knowledge and experience to the company. He joined NASA in 1998, went on two spaceflight missions and is just the fifth Briton to go into space. The 48-year-old is also a certified flight instructor and is an experienced ‘aquanaut,’ participating in both the   NEEMO 6 and NEEMO 13 underwater training missions.

Blue Origin, founded in 2000, recently completed a pad escape test. On the company website, Bezos wrote that “The Blue Origin team worked hard and smart to pull off this first test of our suborbital Crew Capsule escape system.”

“The first test of our suborbital Crew Capsule is a big step on the way to safe, affordable space travel,” Bezos added in a statement. “This wouldn’t have been possible without NASA’s help, and the Blue Origin team worked hard and smart to design this system, build it, and pull off this test. Lots of smiles around here today. Gradatim Ferociter!”

Blue Origin is hiring. There are nearly 20 job openings at company career page.

Previously on GeekWire: Q&A: Space Shuttle Trainer set to make its Seattle debut 

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