Amazon CEO Bezos Looking For Engineers In Space Venture - InformationWeek

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Amazon CEO Bezos Looking For Engineers In Space Venture

Blue Origin hopes to substantially lower the cost of spaceflight to appeal to the average citizen.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of online retailer, wants to hire experienced aerospace engineers for his commercial spaceflight venture.

Bezos has placed his help wanted ad on the Web site of Blue Origin, the company founded by the wealthy CEO to someday offer space travel to the average Joe, or at least to his rich cousin.

"We're working, patiently and step-by-step, to lower the cost of spaceflight so that many people can afford to go and so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system," Bezos wrote on the site.

Besides accepting resumes, the site also gives a first glimpse of the company's Nov. 13, 2006, launch of the first development vehicle in Blue Origin's New Shepard program. New Shepard is the vertical take-off, vertical-landing vehicle that the company hopes to build to eventually send a small number of astronauts into suborbital space.

The cone-shaped development vehicle, called Goddard, blasted straight up, and reached a maximum altitude of 285 feet before making a successful vertical landing. "My only job at the launch was to open the champagne, and I broke the cork off in the bottle," Bezos said. "Fortunately, our other valve operations went more smoothly."

While the launch seemed undramatic, it fit into Blue Origin's plan of reaching space one small step at a time. "Slow and steady is the way to reach results, and we do not kid ourselves into thinking this will get easier as we go along," Bezos said.

Blue Origin, which received approval last year from the Federal Aviation Administration, is based on a stretch of desolate West Texas ranchland located about 120 miles east of El Paso. Bezos is not the first wealthy tech entrepreneur attracted to space travel. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is also investing in commercial spaceflight.

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