Blue Origin is a privately-funded aerospace company initially focused on sub-orbital spaceflight founded in 2000. The company is owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and headquartered in a warehouse situated on 25 acres of industrial land in the Seattle, Washington suburb of Kent, Washington, where its research and development is located. It has its testing and operations center in Culberson County, Texas, on a portion of the Corn Ranch, a 165,000 acre (668 kmē) spread north of Van Horn and 15 miles south of the Guadalupe Mountains.
A 2004 article in The Economist reports additional rumors that the company's vehicle will take off and land under its own propulsion, using as propellants what the company's website later confirmed to be hydrogen peroxide and kerosene. In January 2005, Bezos told the editor of the Van Horn Advocate that Blue Origin is developing a sub-orbital space vehicle that will take off and land vertically and carry three or more astronauts to the edge of space.
The company has released a few details regarding its development. As of January 2005, the company's website announces that it hopes to establish an "enduring human presence in space"; Bezos told Reuters in November 2004 that his company hopes to progress to orbital spaceflight. The vehicle will be controlled completely by on-board computers, without ground control. Unmanned test flights are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2006. Once passenger flights begin, the company expects up to 52 launches a year.
Employees of Blue Origin include Rob Meyerson (program manager) and science fiction author Neal Stephenson (part-time advisor).