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Blue Origin Rocket, Owned by Jeff Bezos, Edges Closer to Launch

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In its 24th year of existence, Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, has yet to launch a single thing to orbit, a reality that has led to criticism against the company’s space dreams. Unlike Blue Origin, SpaceX, the rocket company started by fellow space billionaire Elon Musk, has dominated the launch market, leaving Blue Origin’s accomplishments to date looking rather modest. However, that narrative may change soon as Blue Origin moves closer to launching its brand new rocket.

On Wednesday, Blue Origin unveiled its massive new rocket at Launch Complex 36 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The rocket, named New Glenn, is as tall as a 32-story building. It was transported horizontally on a mobile launch platform, marking a significant step closer to becoming operational. In an interview, Dave Limp, the chief executive of Blue Origin, expressed confidence in the company’s ambitions, saying, “I’m very confident there’s going to be a launch this year. We’re going to show a lot of progress this year. I think people are going to see how fast we can move.”

New Glenn, named in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, will be capable of lugging about 100,000 pounds into low-Earth orbit. This heavy lifting capacity will position Blue Origin to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets while working in the same launch market. Furthermore, Blue Origin’s BE-4 engines, designed by the company, have proved their mettle during successful tests on other rockets, promising another layer of potential and capability for Blue Origin’s foray into orbital launches.

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The progress toward launching New Glenn means a significant step forward for Blue Origin, shattering the previous notion that the company might have moved slowly due to the luxury of billions of dollars backing it. The capability to produce this rocket is a testament to the financial strength and commitment of Bezos, as the chief executive of BryceTech, Carissa Christensen, pointed out, saying, “Rockets run on money. And so, the depth of resources available to that company, the commitment of its founder, I think, makes it unique.”

The final version of New Glenn is expected to make its maiden launch later this year. Blue Origin has been working diligently to build and assemble the rocket pieces, including its boosters and nose cones, in a 650,000 square foot factory. Ultimately, Blue Origin’s goal is to establish a launch frequency comparable to that of SpaceX.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Blue Origin, Dave Limp, emphasized the company’s vision beyond launch vehicles. With plans for a lunar lander for NASA and the Orbital Reef space station, Blue Origin is building foundational capabilities for a long-term vision of creating business opportunities off the Earth.

In the end, Blue Origin may soon emerge from the shadow of its bigger competitor as it moves toward its first orbital launch. If the company can accelerate delivery of its promises, it holds the potential to bring a new level of competition to the space launch market, facilitating a future where multiple companies can thrive. The recent progress of Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket serves as a firm testament to the company’s capabilities and ambitions to enter the realm of orbital launches, setting a scene of future competition in the space industry.

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Ruler Maintains Firm Control 30 Years After Rwandan Genocide.

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It has been 30 years since the Rwandan genocide, a dark chapter in history that saw the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives in a brutal campaign of violence. Today, Rwanda has emerged as a success story in Africa, with a thriving economy, stable government, and impressive infrastructure. Yet, behind this facade of progress lies a dark truth – the iron-fisted rule of President Paul Kagame.

Under Kagame’s leadership, Rwanda has seen remarkable development and modernization. The capital, Kigali, boasts gleaming towers, tech startups, and world-class facilities. The country has attracted investment, tourists, and admiration from international leaders. However, this progress has come at a steep cost – the stifling of dissent, crackdown on opposition, and allegations of human rights abuses.

Despite his undemocratic methods, Kagame has maintained a tight grip on power for three decades. His rule has been marked by a cult of personality, a suppression of free speech, and a firm control over all aspects of society. The government’s refusal to acknowledge ethnic divisions within the country has only heightened tensions and hindered reconciliation.

Critics argue that Kagame’s regime perpetuates the very divisions it claims to have eradicated after the genocide. Ethnic Tutsis dominate the government, while Hutus, the majority population, are marginalized and excluded from real power. Political opponents face arrest, torture, or worse, as seen in the case of Kizito Mihigo, a prominent singer who dared to speak out against the government’s narrative of unity.

The international community has long turned a blind eye to Kagame’s abuses, lauding his economic successes while ignoring his autocratic tendencies. Western leaders have praised him for his leadership after the genocide, but many now see his grip on power as a threat to Rwanda’s future stability. The recent crisis in neighboring Congo, where Rwanda is accused of supporting rebel groups, has raised concerns about Kagame’s regional ambitions and the potential for conflict.

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As Rwanda marks the 30th anniversary of the genocide, it is a moment of reckoning for Kagame and his regime. The international community must hold him accountable for his actions and press for greater respect for human rights and democracy in Rwanda. The legacy of the genocide looms large over the country, and true reconciliation can only be achieved through genuine political reform and a commitment to justice for all Rwandans.

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