Jeff Bezos’ brief trip to area was also a business for Rivian

After years of planning and billions of dollars invested on the undertaking, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos received to be a single of the 1st people to trip a rocket created by his other corporation, Blue Origin, to the edge of room. But the party alone was also a possibility for Bezos to endorse a 3rd expense in the broader Amazon portfolio: EV startup Rivian.

All over the broadcast, Rivian’s electrical pickup truck and SUV could be found shuttling Bezos and his fellow astronauts about — an unsurprising final decision considering Amazon now owns a lot more than 10 p.c of the EV startup right after leading and participating in several funding rounds. The hosts of Blue Origin’s livestream manufactured certain to enable anyone seeing know what they had been observing, way too.

“And here the astronauts come. There you see Jeff Bezos in the foreground, Oliver Daemen stepping into the Rivian,” Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin’s director of “astronaut and orbital revenue,” cheerily explained during the broadcast as the team hopped in just one of the startup’s SUVs to head to the rocket for their journey to place. Then we received a prolonged, continuous aerial shot of the electric SUV driving towards the pad, break up side-by-side for the duration of an interview with Mercury 13 legend Wally Funk.

Soon after the crew safely landed an hour later, there they had been again: a established of Rivian pickups and SUVs rumbling in excess of the West Texas landscape to greet the not long ago returned astronauts. (The electrical automobiles were being tucked in between a couple of other pickup vans and SUVs built by Ford — which also owns extra than 10 percent of Rivian.)

The Rivians — probable on financial loan, because of to the fact that they’re nevertheless wearing company plates — weren’t just there for the sake of the broadcast, possibly. At one point, Blue Origin utilised the slide-out camping kitchen area on a pair of Rivian pickups to cook dinner up sausages and carne asada for visitors attending the start — an optional element that the startup has promoted a great deal in the run-up to creation.

Blue Origin is a non-public firm, and significantly like Virgin Galactic — which introduced founder Richard Branson to the edge of house significantly less than two weeks back — this very first mission was as much about advertising as it was about science or exploration. But though Branson’s function experienced a music competition vibe, Blue Origin’s was additional in line with Bezos’ notorious calculation. It was a prospect for him to boost the things he programs to expend his time on now that he’s no more time Amazon CEO, like his space business and his local weather fund, and to toss a bone to the electric powered motor vehicle enterprise that Amazon has dumped a bunch of cash into. Maybe the only stunning issue is that the shipping van Rivian is creating for Amazon was not there, as well.

It’s not like Rivian, which a short while ago delayed the initially deliveries of its pickup truck and SUV to later on this calendar year, genuinely wants the consideration. The startup has presently elevated more than $8 billion to date. Rivian has also already proven adept at coming up with its possess powerful cross-promotions. But Rivian is at this time in the procedure of planning an original community offering, so it’s feasible this screen of corporate synergy plays ideal into the palms of the bankers.

The commercialization of the place field has been occurring for a even though, but it is really ramped up in current many years as organizations like Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX matured. These providers have established out to dominate everything from the “boring” responsibilities like cargo operates and science missions to the riskier endeavors like strapping people inside a spaceship. They’ve recognized the benefit of the eyeballs these missions bring in, far too. Following all, in advance of SpaceX launched the initial humans to area from United States soil past 12 months, all those astronauts also took a marketing ride to the rocket — in a Tesla Design X.

More reporting by Joey Roulette.