Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos seems to have forgotten that hell hath no fury like a Prime customer scorned.
On Sunday, Bezos’ aerospace company will test its New Shepard rocket for the eighth time in a suborbital flight. The company has been notoriously mum about most of its activity, so when Bezos tweeted about the launch on Friday, he probably assumed his followers would be happy.
“Launch preparations are underway for New Shepard’s 8th test flight, as we continue our progress toward human spaceflight,” Bezos writes. “Currently targeting Sunday 4/29 with launch window opening up at 830am CDT. Livestream info to come. @BlueOrigin #GradatimFerociter”
Apparently, even billionaires don’t know how to read the room. Just hours before, Amazon announced it would be raising the price of Amazon Prime subscription to $119 a year for new and existing customers starting in May and June, respectively.
Between Blue Origin’s rocket launch and Amazon Prime’s unexpected price jump, I’m sure you can guess which one people wanted to talk to Jeff Bezos about.
The first New Shepard test flight was on April 29, 2015. Sunday marks Blue Origin’s first launch this year. Its most recent test flight was back in December 2017, when the company launched and landed its New Shepard rocket booster, carrying several experiments on board its Crew Capsule 2.0 spacecraft. This was the first flight for the vehicle, and all things considered, the launch went well. It was just the momentum Blue Origin needed — before the Crew Capsule 2.0 flight, Blue Origin hadn’t had a launch in 14 months.
“The elements of the New Shepard system are being tested extensively, both on the ground and during uncrewed test flights,” Blue Origin writes on its website. “Our flight test program continues to build experience with the New Shepard system in an uncrewed configuration, leading up to the day when we are ready for astronauts to climb on board for launch.”
While the upcoming New Shepard test flight is certainly a big moment for the rocket company and a significant step toward achieving that goal of getting more humans in space, maybe it would serve its founder to learn some Twitter etiquette.
Here’s a timeline of Blue Origin’s developments:
- September 30, 2015: The BE-4 Engine Hits Milestone
- November 24, 2015: Elon Musk Dismisses Blue Origin Landing
- December 7, 2015: Jeff Bezos Offers to “Donald Trump to Space”
- January 23, 2016: Rocket Landing Video Shows What Blue Origin Can Do
- March 10, 2016: Bezos: The BE-4 Engines Will Eliminate Russian Dependence
- April 3, 2016: New Shepard Goes to Space and Back for a Third Time
- June 19, 2016: New Shepard Makes It Four Times
- December 12, 2017: New Crew Capsule with Space-Tourist Friendly Windows is Tested
- March 6, 2017: The Finished Rocket BE-4 Engine is Revealed