Jeff Bezos's Trip to Space Was Actually a Car Ad in Disguise
Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen wave next to a Rivian SUV electric adventure vehicle on the Blue Origin rocket launch site
Have you heard of those auto commercials that have a touching story about a child growing up and leaving the house, or some other tearful imagination with universal appeal, but then it's about an Audi or Volkswagen or Subaru? That just happened today, but on a much larger scale, when Jeff Bezos took his Blue Origin New Shepard rocket on a little billionaire foray into space.
While Blue Origin's high-profile suborbital launch was a big advertisement for the company's space tourism business, it was unexpectedly also an advertisement for Rivian, the electric vehicle startup that Amazon invested hundreds of millions of dollars in. During Blue Origin's own stream of events on Tuesday, Rivian's R1S SUV was seen hauling the crew - including Bezos, his brother Mark, 82-year-old Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen - to the launch site while his name was checked by the commentators. and as The Drive pointed out, there were a number of R1T trucks at the landing pad.
At the time of writing, Blue Origin's video has been viewed nearly three million times, and that doesn't even include the plethora of other coverage from unaffiliated outlets. That's a big deal because Rivian desperately needs good PR. The EV startup looked promising at first - Amazon led a $ 700 million funding round in 2019 and reportedly ordered 100,000 vans, and other big names like Ford and BlackRock invested heavily - but like these electric car hopefuls, they hit a number of delays. After postponing the publication of their EVs several times, they moved the delivery dates again from this month to September at the earliest.
Jeff Bezos hops in Rivian's electric SUV on the way to the launch site.
Screenshot via Blue Origin on YouTube
Of course, if you're not one of the people who has already reserved one of Rivian's so-called “electric adventure vehicles”, you don't know the company has encountered several roadblocks. All the people around the world who were there at the launch just saw Cowboy Hat with Bezos and his happy band going to their rocket in an electric SUV from a sci-fi movie, and a lot of those people are now trying to figure it out how to gets my hands on one.
According to Bezos, Blue Origin sold nearly $ 100 million worth of tickets for future space tourism flights - and we now know the company can actually deliver them. Rivian is likely collecting new reservations too, but we won't know until September or later if this Amazon-backed company can do the same.
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