Veteran space executive Rob Meyerson leaves Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin venture

Blue Origin’s Rob Meyerson speaks at the 2016 International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in New Mexico. (ISPCS via YouTube)

Rob Meyerson, who was the president of Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture until this year, says he’s left the company.

Since January, Meyerson has served as senior vice president, in charge of advanced development programs such as the Blue Moon lunar lander system and the New Armstrong interplanetary-class rocket. In an email, he told GeekWire that Friday was his last day at the company, which grew from 10 employees to more than 1,500 during his tenure.

Meyerson said he was “taking some time off to determine my next steps.”

The Michigan native came to Kent, Wash.-based Blue Origin in 2003 from Kirkland, Wash.-based Kistler Aerospace, where he was a senior program manager, according to his LinkedIn website. Before Kistler, Meyerson was an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas for 12 years, working on the space shuttle and space station programs as well as the X-38 crew rescue vehicle program.

As president at Blue Origin, Meyerson had a public profile second only to Bezos’. During a Senate subcommittee hearing in April 2017, for example, he pleaded the company’s case for streamlined space regulations. But in September 2017, aerospace executive Bob Smith took the spotlight as Blue Origin’s first official CEO, and Meyerson switched roles just a few months later.

Meyerson is leaving during a crucial time for Blue Origin: The company is gearing up for the first passenger flights on its New Shepard suborbital spaceship early next year, preparing for production of its New Glenn orbital-class rockets and BE-4 rocket engines (with Air Force backing), and putting its hand in for future Blue Moon deliveries as part of NASA’s lunar initiatives. Blue Origin is also among 13 teams due to deliver a report this year on commercializing low-Earth-orbit space operations.

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