It looks as though tourists will be able to head into space as soon as 2018. The space tourism company Blue Origin, owned by Jeff Bezos, has announced that they are going to start testing launches in 2017, and if all goes well will start sending passengers into space by 2018.
The company’s President Rob Meyerson, recently spoke about their developments at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, in New Mexico.
They recently went through an important safety test on October 5, where they had to test their spaceship’s “in-flight escape” systems. The test actually went better than they had expected, which gave them confidence that the opportunity for sending humans up is just around the corner.
Blue Origin’s first tourist trips to space will be 11 minutes long. The prices have not yet been released, but Virgin Galactic has been working on some similar travel plans that will cost around $250,000, so the costs can be expected to be comparable.
However, those who take a ride on the New Shepard flight with Blue Origin, will also be given first access to a ride on New Glenn, which is expected to reach full Earth orbit, and begins the testing process in 2019.