EXPOSED! Leaked Emails CAUGHT Blue Origin & Jeff Bezos


EXPOSED! Leaked Emails CAUGHT Blue Origin & Jeff Bezos
Blue Origin executives realised they were behind around three years ago, having failed to deliver on their founder’s ambitious goal.

Jeff Bezos had long talked about establishing a world-class space transportation company with Blue Origin, even trademarking the phrase “Build a Road to Space.” Despite being over two decades old, Blue Origin had yet to construct a space highway or launch an orbital rocket.

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Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s rocket company has established itself as the world’s most dominating launch company. SpaceX was well on its way to launching a record 21 rockets in a single year by the autumn of 2018, had launched the Falcon Heavy, and was beginning to reuse first stage boosters seriously.

In a late-2018 internal communication, one Blue Origin official confessed, “Blue is sort of lazy compared to SpaceX.”

These were not easy realities to accept for Blue Origin’s leadership. They understood, however, that in order for Blue Origin to become a successful launch company, it needed to learn from the best. As Bob Smith celebrated his one anniversary as CEO of Blue Origin in late summer 2018, he recruited Avascent, a management consulting firm, to analyse SpaceX’s strengths and faults.

Blue Origin’s senior leadership team was briefed once the firm concluded its analysis. Those dozen or so top executives took lots of notes. They also jotted down insights from the discussion as well as recommendations for Blue Origin to better compete with SpaceX as part of the exercise. On Nov. 1, 2018, these nine pages of notes were produced and given to Smith under the title “Avascent Briefing Notes from Senior Team.”

Screenshots of these notes were just obtained by Ars. They paint a candid and illuminating picture of Blue Origin’s challenges to compete with SpaceX at the time, as well as the strategies leadership discussed using to catch up. They also highlight Blue Origin’s failure to fix some of these flaws in retrospect. SpaceX is now a larger market leader than it was in 2018, with Blue Origin trailing further behind, and its path to space still unpaved.

This video forward contains responses from top executives reacting to a strength highlighted by Avascent as a strength at SpaceX—or indicating areas Blue Origin might improve. The material in parenthesis was added by ARS to clarify things. ARS will not publish the notes in their entirety or connect identities to specific remarks because they are honest and made in private.

Customer Focus
SpaceX, according to the experts, places a great focus on client satisfaction, aiming to deliver desirable services at a cheaper cost.

In response, a Blue Origin executive commented, “They have a consumer focus.” “We should do the same. In many situations, we consider the customer to be a bother. This is the case with LSA (Launch Services Agreement, or the US Space Force), NG (New Glenn rocket satellite clients), and NS (NASA astronauts) (New Shepard). This is a culture that has to be changed.”

During the 2010s, the Falcon 9 rocket acquired a substantial part of the market for launching satellites into geostationary orbit, according to Avascent. SpaceX achieved this by selling their Falcon 9 rocket roughly half as much as the market leader in this sector, Arianespace, and its Ariane 5 rocket.

Customers place a high value on pricing, as seen by one case. The Falcon 9 booster had considerably lesser performance than the Ariane 5 rocket until the mid-2010s. Satellite companies responded by improving the performance of their satellites’ on-board propulsion systems in order to achieve their targeted orbits. This enables satellite operators to arrange a lower-cost Falcon 9 launch and transfer more orbit-raising duty to the satellite’s electric propulsion system.

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