Blue Origin and UAE form partnership for future space tourism missions

8th Nov 2021
Blue Origin and UAE form partnership for future space tourism missions

It seems space tourism, a trend integrated by Blue Origin, among others, is one that is here to stay, at least for a while. The National, an Abu Dhabi news outlet, reported that the United Arab Emirates and Blue Origin have entered into a partnership to solidify the space tourism trend. This news comes months after Blue Origin successfully sent its first crewed mission into space on their New Shepard rocket. The flight lasted approximately 10 minutes but managed to cross the Karman Line.

Blue Origin will work with UAE on future space tourism projects

The deal will allow Blue Origin to construct a spaceport in the UAE that will be exclusively dedicated to launching space tourism missions. The planned spaceport will be located in a desert location, far away from the current launch location in El Paso, Texas. Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of advanced development programmes for Blue Origin, said that the new planned location was an “obvious choice” and would allow Blue Origin to expand its future goals.

Sherwood also said that after spending time at the International Astronautical Congress (IAU), held at the Dubai World Trade Centre until 29th October, his outlook on the partnership had been solidified. The UAE government has been looking into expanding its economy to feature foreign investors such as Blue Origin.

Space tourism costs might lower through this partnership

The UAE is certainly in a position to fund any project it wants; as they currently boast a gross national income that ranks 8th in the world, with a Gross National Product exceeding $358 billion for 2020. Blue Origin could take full advantage of the capital presented to it and fully integrate the company into UAE’s growing economy. A downside to this decision is the fact that the price per seat for future rocket launches could increase even further, resulting in an industry catering to the ultra-rich.

Sherwood is optimistic that seat prices could end up lowering when the industry settles down a bit. Blue Origin holds a database of interested passengers willing to travel to space, and cost per seat trends seem to be going down. So perhaps Blue Origin could offer space tourism flight tickets, lower than one million dollars, by 2030.

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