(p. B2) WASHINGTON — Jeff Bezos, the billionaire chief executive of Amazon, founded a rocket company as a hobby 16 years ago. Now that company, Blue Origin, finally has its first paying customer as it ramps up to become a full-fledged business.
Mr. Bezos announced that customer, the satellite television provider Eutelsat, on Tuesday. In about five years, Eutelsat, which is based in Paris, will strap one of its satellites to a new Blue Origin rocket to be delivered to space, a process it has done dozens of times with other space partners.
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Blue Origin’s deal with Eutelsat is a “definite statement to the industry that Blue Origin will be a viable commercial launch vehicle,” said Carissa Bryce Christensen, the chief executive of Bryce Space and Technology, a consulting firm.
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Mr. Bezos “is investing because he wants to transform people’s lives with space capabilities, but the expectation has always been that this will be a successful business,” Ms. Christensen said.
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Mr. Bezos said he was approaching his space project with an abundance of patience.
“I like to do things incrementally,” he said, noting that Blue Origin’s mascot is a tortoise. With such high costs and risks with each rocket launch, it is important not to skip steps, he said.
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast,” said Mr. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post and a clock that will keep time for 10,000 years. “I’ve seen this in every endeavor I’ve been in.”
For the full story, see:
CECILIA KANG. “Blue Origin, Bezos’s Moon Shot, Gets First Paying Customer.” The New York Times (Weds., March 8, 2017): B2.
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date March 7, 2017, and has the title “Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s Moon Shot, Gets First Paying Customer.”)