Thursday , October 6 2022

As the blue origin of Jeff Bezos could not dominate the space race of the billionaire | Blue origin


NS Multimedia Space Race It’s just a race by its name. In fact, there are SpaceX and others.

Only one company founded by Elon Musk nearly two decades ago has sent a booster rocket into orbit and landed safely again. Only SpaceX has landed a rocket the size of a 15-story building atop a drone. In the middle of the ocean, only SpaceX has both. NASA astronauts and private citizens For the International Space Station, only SpaceX produces its own desktop-sized communications satellite each year. Only SpaceX has the near-weekly launch rate needed to double the number of operating satellites of a single person in orbit. In less than two years, only SpaceX has launched a prototype of the largest and most powerful rocket in history, a giant called the Starship that was intended to take humans to the moon.

Total dominance of the SpaceX rocket industry is not what was expected.

Today there is more innovation in the commercial space sector than ever before in history and the launch services sector is especially competitive. Relativity Space is building the world’s first 3D-printed rocket. and plans to build a rocket on Mars with a Virgin Orbit robot. He launches rockets from under the wings of a huge beam. The Virgin Galactic subsidiary makes people fly to the edge of space. Based on an air-launched spacecraft, RocketLab developed the first rocket engine powered by an electric bomb and attempted to take it out of the air with a mesh connected to a helicopter.

And then there’s Blue Origin, which has dominated the world headlines for days this week with the introduction of Star Trek actor William Shatner, in short, into space.

Audrey Powers, William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries embark on the landing of the Blue Shepard of New Origin after flying into space Wednesday near Van Horn, Texas. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

If any rocket company is expected to have the same level of technological success as SpaceX, it’s Blue Origin. The company was founded by former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2000, just two years before SpaceX established its store in California in 2015. Blue Origin became the first company to launch rockets on the line. Kármán, the internationally recognized space frontier. and landed again Although this is not as difficult as returning a rocket from orbit, as Musk has done. burla Historically, Bezos remains a milestone in the history of private space exploration, and unlike Musk, Bezos knows what it means to go with his own rocket.

Bezos founded Blue Origin with a visionary goal. Inspired by the future of the late Princeton, Gerard K. O’Neill, Bezos dreamed of moving heavy industry from Earth to space to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It wants to lay the groundwork for an extraterrestrial economy where thousands of people live and work in space. His company builds rockets as powerful as the moon-charged Apollo astronauts He has teamed up with major defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to develop a lunar lander that can bring humans to the lunar surface. has designed and built the most powerful rocket engine in history. and signed a contract with the United Launch Alliance to supply engines for the next-generation Vulcan rocket.

No doubt Bezos had many visions: the question was: why could he not be executed by the second richest man in the world?

Jeff Bezos and William Shatner in Van Horn, Texas, Wednesday.
Jeff Bezos and William Shatner in Van Horn, Texas, Wednesday. Image: Blue Origin / EPA

In recent years, Blue Origin’s master plan has begun to unravel. Earlier this year, NASA awarded a contract to land on the moon. SpaceX has left Blue Origin stunned, now suing the U.S. government. to reconsider the award He has seen an exodus of great engineering talent after a lost contract that only aggravates him. Too late. Blue Origin has strived to advance the production of the powerful BE-4 rocket engine. Therefore, the initial launch of the ULA Vulcan rocket is reduced to the end of 2022, giving it the first full engine flight. five years late.

meanwhile The first flight of the company’s legendary New Glenn rocket. which is a heavy launch vehicle capable of lifting nearly 100,000 pounds into low Earth orbit. was pushed until the end of 2022 as soon as possible Originally wanted to fly for the first time last year. Bezos has not yet had the honor of being the first billionaire to launch his own rocket into space. Just two weeks before Bezos flew into space this summer, Richard Branson completed a suborbital flight of his own spacecraft with Virgin Galactic.

How did it happen? Blue Origin has thousands of the world’s leading rocket engineers. The company also has access to unlimited financing: Bezos, valued at $ 200 billion south, spends $ 1 billion a year. Out of his own pocket to fund Blue Origin, by all accounts, Blue Origin should be one of the most successful space companies in the world.

Ally Abrams, former chief communications officer for Blue Origin employees, recently wrote, “Blue Origin has all the ingredients for success and it turns out to be really fantastic” whistleblower essay. Provide information on security issues and sexism to the company. “Engineers really believe in it and try to make it a reality every day. despite the intervention of the leaders “.

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket exploded Wednesday near Van Horn, Texas.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket exploded Wednesday near Van Horn, Texas. Photo: Blue Origin / Reuters

According to Abrams, the problem of Blue Origin has both a technical and a cultural dimension. Technically, Abrams said the company suffers huge technical debt, an engineering challenge created by choosing a faster solution. and a relentless focus on speed that undermines proper management capacity. Problems with launch vehicles, describes the exodus of Blue Origin’s best talent. “Tired of AIDS problems”

“Technical debt is a problem that most companies have, but at Blue it has an incredible level,” Abrams said. “It really failed to move from an R&D company to a manufacturing company.”

Abrams cites some of the technical debt stemming from Blue Origin’s greater focus on speed, an irony for the company’s motto. Fierce step by step, a Latin expression for “Step by step, fierce.” He pursued growing pressure to move to 2017 when it became apparent that the company could not keep up with competitors on SpaceX. Clearly, as with “the jealousy he seems to have for other billionaires. Who seemed to be more advanced than he is.”

“Schedules are always a big joke in the company,” Abrams said. And the staff laughed because they knew it was impossible.

But Blue Origin has more problems than engineering.

In his essay, Abrams describes companies in which executives exhibit “harmful behavior.” And where, according to Abrams, Blue Origin’s cultural problems began at their peak and spread throughout the company, Bezos, who ran the company in 2017, said he has not been able to repeatedly hear his employees ’concerns about safety of company vehicles. and a toxic work culture.

“Bob Smith is one of the most incompetent leaders I’ve ever known,” Abrams said. “Love dried up before him. Many engineers do not feel comfortable raising safety and quality concerns for fear of retaliation. Which is scary when you work in a high-risk experimental vehicle. ”

The trial of Abrams whistleblowers was co-signed by 20 current and former Blue Origin employees without a name. The company denies several allegations.

A Blue Origin statement said the company had fired Abrams for “repeated warnings over issues related to federal export control regulations” that it had no tolerance for harassment or discrimination. and believes the New Shepard rocket is “the safest spacecraft in history. to design or build”

“It’s especially difficult and painful for me to hear statements that try to characterize our team in a way that is incompatible with the characters and skills I see in Blue Origin every day,” Smith wrote in an email. but, “As always, I welcome and encourage Team Blue members to speak to me directly. if they have any questions about any topic at any time “.

Still, Blue Origin staff kept talking. Earlier this week, a review of the Washington Post echoed the problems Abrams posed and painted an organization full of mistrust in leadership. sexism and inadequate concerns about the safety of rocket launchers.

Looking to the future, the question of Blue Origin is whether it can review its culture to carry out its mission. many observers, including Abrams, were skeptical, but perhaps they changed. is Earlier this year, Bezos resigned as CEO of Amazon and pledged to spend more time with Blue Origin. Bezos was able to revive the company’s culture with his great vision of exploration and purpose of human space. Together or not.

“There will be a lot of work and a lot to maintain if they can establish a good leadership team. that he is committed to moving forward in a different way, “Abrams said.” I think it will still take many years for the scar tissue to heal with the staff. “

The only sure thing is that Bezos will never colonize him in space. If you can’t build a rocket to get there And that can be a problem that no amount of money can solve.

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