Blue Origin planning human test flights to space by 2017

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

KENT, Wash. (AP) — Private space company Blue Origin expects it will launch its first human test flights into space in 2017.

Company founder Jeff Bezos said Tuesday during a tour of the venture's research and development site south of Seattle that he's convinced it can be profitable eventually. Bezos, who also founded, says many thousands of people have already expressed interest in taking a trip on Blue Origin's suborbital craft when it starts taking reservations.

But the real money will be made selling their rocket engines to people who want to launch satellites and other things into space. The company is already working with United Launch Alliance to build the engine for that company's new launch vehicle. That company currently relies on Russian-made engines.