Feeds

Amazon founder aims for space

Commercial space race hots up

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is well and truly in the commercial space race, with details of his planned vertical take-off and landing rocket launcher emerging from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

The company he funds, Blue Origin, filed an environmental assessment report with the FAA, detailing plans for a private launch facility near its own HQ in Texas.

The filing explains that Blue Origin is planning to "launch reusable launch vehicles (RLVs) on suborbital, ballistic trajectories to altitudes in excess of 99,060 meters (325,000 feet)" from "private launch site, which would include a vehicle processing facility, launch complex, vehicle landing and recovery area, space flight participant training facility, and other minor support facilities".

The details of the project have been, until now, something of a closely guarded secret. But the draft environmental report, which you can read here, (it's a pdf) suggests that Blue Origin has plans for up to five test launches this year, with a further 25 to take place per year over the next five years.

The company is most likely to build the launch site on a 165,000 acre Corn Ranch in Culberson County, owned by Jeff Bezos.

The local wildlife would certainly notice Blue Origin's arrival. The report warns that "small numbers of less-mobile, burrow-dwelling animals (gophers, chipmunks) inhabiting the construction area could be displaced by construction activity or killed if burrows are filled, crushed, or paved".

The report says that although no state listed animals are known to live in the area, it is "possible" that some protected lizards and/or birds could be disturbed by the project.

A public consultation on the proposal is due to conclude this week, The Independent reports, with a meeting in the nearby small town of Van Horn.

On a related note, Blue Origin is currently on the lookout for all kinds of space-related engineers, provided they are excited by the idea of actually building stuff. PowerPoint enthusiasts, it says, need not apply. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.