Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin wins Collier Trophy

New Shepard
Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster stands on its West Texas landing pad after a successful touchdown. (Blue Origin Photo)

Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos keeps racking up the awards for his Blue Origin space venture: He just found out that Blue Origin is winning the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for its New Shepard suborbital spaceship.

The 2016 Collier Trophy was awarded to the Blue Origin team, headquartered in Kent, Wash., “for successfully demonstrating rocket booster reusability with the New Shepard human spaceflight vehicle through five successful test flights of a single booster and engine, all of which performed powered vertical landings on Earth,” the NAA said today in a statement.

The trophy is awarded annually to recognize the previous year’s greatest achievement in American aeronautics or astronautics. Past winners range from aviation pioneers Glenn Curtiss (1911 and 1912) and Orville Wright (1913) to the teams behind SpaceShipOne (2004), NASA’s Curiosity rover (2012) and NASA’s Dawn probe to Ceres (2015).

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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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