Blue Origin’s plans spark debate amid outbreak

Blue Origin New Shepard
Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital spaceship sits on its West Texas launch pad in preparation for a launch in 2018. (Blue Origin Photo)

Discussions about future launch plans for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture have reportedly generated internal acrimony due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak — and that, in turn, has generated reassurances about safety.

The acrimony is laid out in a report from The Verge, based on accounts from unnamed employees as well as an audio recording of a staff meeting at the company’s headquarters in Kent, Wash.

Employees reportedly worried that plans for a test flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital spaceflight could put them at risk, because the operation would involve traveling to the company’s West Texas launch facility.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

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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