The shuttle's successors

Of the four companies picked by Nasa to receive funding to develop a replacement for the shuttle, perhaps the least is known about Blue Origin and its space vehicle. The crew capsule, shown below, is designed to be launched on an Atlas V rocket and ultimately Blue Origin's own Reusable Booster System.

Diagram showing details of Blue Origin

"We are committed to developing safe and affordable commercial human space flight"

Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin

Blue Origin

  • Unknown launch date
  • Atlas V launch vehicle
  • 7 total crew capacity
  • $25.7m Nasa funding so far
  • Lands vertically

Blue Origin was founded by Amazon's Jeff Bezos in 2000. Work already completed under the company's New Shepard programme includes test flights of a sub-orbital vehicle as far back as 2006. Designed to be reusable, the Goddard vehicle, pictured below, took off and landed vertically.

Blue Origin

*Total funding given in round two of Nasa's Commercial Crew Development programme (CCDev).

More on This Story

Space shuttle

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Science & Environment stories



  • Above the Tube

    Zip through the languages spoken along the Victoria Line

  • The billion-dollar ex-council flat

    A bizarre trail leads from an impoverished former Soviet republic to the palm-fringed shores of the Indian Ocean and beyond, via a Scottish ex-council flat.

  • The disaster that liberated me

    How the Kashmir earthquake in 2005 forced one teacher to throw off the expectations that Pakistani society had placed on her as a woman.

  • The rebirth of a natural treasure

    In the 1960s the Gorongosa National Park was marketed as a safari paradise. It was largely destroyed in a civil war following Mozambique's independence from Portugal, but thanks to a public-private partnership the park is being restored.

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.