Blue Origin: Riding the Wave of Disruption in the Space Industry

22 Pages Posted: 25 May 2018

Date Written: May 15, 2018


This teaching case describes how Blue Origin evolved from a one entrepreneurs’ dream to explore space to a fully-fledged player in an industry dominated by household names like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Airbus. The Internet tycoons are the new breed of space entrepreneurs propelled by visionary dreams, deep pockets and business acumen the world has seldom seen. In the process the new space companies have disrupted an industry that enjoyed lucrative government contracts and large scale projects that were often initiated on the back of national pride more than commercial viability. The internet space entrepreneurs rewrote the business model for unmanned launch vehicles and have set their sights on manned flights as far as to Mars. Blue Origin has entered the lucrative rocket motors sector of the industry and works with legacy firms like Boeing and Lockheed Martin through the United Launch Alliance. The question on everyone’s mind is - can it work? Can Blue Origin keep the momentum going in an environment of rising competition from other space entrepreneurs and increased market adaptation by established players. Blue Origin has deep pockets, a brainchild of Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon, but is Blue Origin a sustainable and commercially viable business?

Keywords: Teaching Case, Blue Origin, Space Industry, Disruption, Amazon, Rockets, Strategy, Alliances

JEL Classification: L93, L26, L1, M13, Z31, Z32, Z21

Suggested Citation

Gudmundsson, Sveinn Vidar, Blue Origin: Riding the Wave of Disruption in the Space Industry (May 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Sveinn Vidar Gudmundsson (Contact Author)

Reykjavik University ( email )

Menntavegur 1
Reykjavik, 102

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