New space company to lift off in Florida

Marcia Dunn
Associated Press

Cape Canaveral, Fla – . — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is shipping his space business to Florida.

At a news conference Tuesday, Bezos announced that his Blue Origin space company will build rockets and launch them into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

He plans to send up satellites first, then people — including space tourists and even himself. He predicts the first launch will occur by the end of the decade; he declined to be more specific, saying more details would be forthcoming next year.

The as-yet-named rocket will launch and land vertically, the same method the company is testing for suborbital flights from remote West Texas. The first-stage boosters will be reusable to save money. The crew capsules will fly themselves and not require pilots.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 36 will serve as home base for Blue Origin’s orbital program. It’s been idle for the past decade following a rich history of interplanetary flights for NASA.

The Washington state-based company is the latest to set up shop at America’s rocket-launching hub.