Feeds

Amazon founder aims for space

Commercial space race hots up

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?