While Blue Origin’s scorch-scarred New Shepard spaceship continues its nationwide tour, billionaire founder Jeff Bezos is giving fans an updated look at what they could be riding (and wearing) when the company puts passengers on board.
The latest email update from Bezos, who created the Blue Origin space venture only a few years after starting up Amazon, includes a series of artist’s conceptions showing the interior of New Shepard’s spacious six-seat passenger cabin.
“Our New Shepard flight test program is focused on demonstrating the performance and robustness of the system,” Bezos wrote. “In parallel, we’ve been designing the capsule interior with an eye toward precision engineering, safety and comfort.”
The pictures also show passengers clad in deep-blue, zip-up tops and black form-fitting pants. Blue Origin’s Nicholas Patrick said last year that the folks who fly will be wearing flight suits rather than spacesuits and helmets, so these images appear to reflect the company’s current thinking on flight-suit fashion.
Blue Origin’s current schedule calls for passengers to start flying beyond the 100-kilometer (62-mile) boundary of outer space sometime next year. During the trip, they’ll experience a jolt of acceleration, several minutes of weightlessness and an astronaut’s-eye view of Earth and sky through some of the biggest windows ever built into a spacecraft.
The price hasn’t yet been set, and reservations aren’t yet being taken, but Blue Origin is providing a way for those who are interested to sign up online for Bezos’ emailed updates.
And there’s more than artist’s conceptions to go by: One New Shepard spaceship already has taken five uncrewed test flights to space and back, and it’s currently on the road. Last week, it was at Amazon’s MARS 2017 conference in Palm Springs, Calif. Next week, it’ll be on display at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Bezos said a high-fidelity mockup of the capsule will be on display alongside the flown vehicle – which means a return trip to Colorado Springs is in order. And who knows? Once the tour’s finished, maybe the New Shepard will settle in for a long-term stay here in Bezos’ hometown.