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San Francisco, July 06 – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin is looking to expand beyond the US, and is searching international markets for a launch site, according to a report on Thursday.
The company is also on the lookout for “new partnerships and acquisitions in Europe and beyond” in a bid to scale up its space services with launch and engine businesses, the Financial Times reported.
“We’re looking for anything we can do to acquire, to scale up to better serve our customers,” Bob Smith, chief executive, Blue Origin was quoted as saying.
“It’s not a function of size — rather how much it accelerates our road map of what we’re trying to get done,” he added.
The company is also looking at acquisitions and partnerships in areas from manufacturing to software and wants to expand services in new regions such as Europe.
While “no location had yet been chosen” for the new launch site…”I think there’s a great opportunity in Europe,” said Smith. “It’s far less clear to us how to actually sell space services in Europe than it is in the US.”
But Europe can open new avenues for Blue Origin as the continent is currently facing limited launch availability with the imminent retirement of the Ariane 5 rocket, and only two rockets remaining Ariane 6, which has yet to fly, and Vega-C.
Besides developing rockets and engines to take cargo and crew to space, Blue Origin is also leading a consortium to build a commercial space station. It was awarded a $3.4 billion NASA contract last month to build a lunar lander to take humans to the moon’s surface, the report said.
Blue Origin’s success has been with the New Shepard rocket which has aced 22 missions to suborbital space, including six crewed missions that carried 31 space tourists.
However, even after being the first company to successfully launch, land and reuse a rocket, it has been trailing against Rocket Lab and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which developed reliable rockets capable of carrying satellites and other payload into orbit.
Both have successfully carried out several crewed and unmanned missions to the International Space Station.