Blue Origin’s first launch customer: Eutelsat

Jeff Bezos and Rodolphe Belmer
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon as well as the Blue Origin space venture, takes the stage with Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos revealed satellite operator Eutelsat as the first paying customer for his Blue Origin space venture’s New Glenn orbital rocket, and showed off a new animation depicting the rocket taking off, delivering a satellite to orbit and landing on a barge at sea.

Bezos and the chairman of this week’s Satellite 2017 conference, Jeffrey Hill, brought the Paris-based satellite operator’s CEO, Rodolphe Belmer, on stage as a surprise guest during today’s keynote chat.

“We couldn’t hope for a better first partner,” Bezos said.

In a news release, Eutelsat said the first payload would be a geostationary satellite, to be launched in the 2021-2022 time frame.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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