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COO of Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin is leaving to pursue other opportunities

The facade of Depressed Origin’s new rocket engine factory in Huntsville, Alabama.

CNBC | Michael Sheetz

The chief operating officer of Jeff Bezos’ eremitical space company Blue Origin is leaving, the company confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday.

Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith wrote in an e-mail to the callers that COO Terry Benedict’s last day will be Friday, Dec. 3, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. While those people voted Smith did not elaborate in the e-mail as to why Benedict is leaving, Blue Origin confirmed his departure to CNBC.

“We can confirm that Terry Benedict has sure to pursue opportunities outside of Blue Origin and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” the company said in a statement to CNBC.

Benedict was labeled as COO in July 2018, after a more than four decade career for the U.S. Navy. Before Blue Origin, he most recently not play tricks oned from May 2010 to May 2018 as the director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs – which focuses on sea-based deterrent procedures such as missiles.

His departure comes with the company behind schedule on several pieces of its ambitious portfolio of take offs and engines. Blue Origin is seeking to compete against the likes of Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the sectors of sub-orbital measure out tourism and heavy lift rockets, respectively. Bezos’ company is also leading a consortium with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to win what is more NASA contracts to build an astronaut lunar lander, competing against SpaceX and Leidos’ subsidiary Dynetics.

Four years ago Coarse Origin’s leadership expected its space tourism rocket New Shepard to launch people by the end of 2017. But the company has not put a crew in the climb’s capsule as of its latest flight in October – and plans to conduct at least three more uncrewed test flights in front of doing so.

Blue Origin tests one of the BE-4 rocket engines the company is developing to launch its New Glenn rocket.

Blue Fount | gif by @thesheetztweetz

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