A mockup of the crew capsule for Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship is laid out beneath the sparkling lights of the Aria Resort Hotel in Las Vegas. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)
LAS VEGAS — One of the big attractions at this week’s Amazon re:MARS conference is a mockup of the crew capsule for Blue Origin’s New Shepard spaceship — but chances are that few of the attendees lining up to try out the seats know who their tour guide is.
And that’s just fine with Jimmy Shane, who’s an engineer and manager at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ space venture as well as a prize-winning hydroplane driver for the U-1 Miss HomeStreet team.
I recognized Shane at the capsule, and he recognized me, thanks in part to GeekWire’s stories about his passions for fast boats and fast rockets back in 2017. Shane won hydroplane racing’s national championship that year, but suffered some tough breaks during the 2018 racing season.
Shane told me he was sent to Las Vegas because he works on the New Shepard suborbital spacecraft at Blue Origin’s headquarters in Kent, Wash., and because he’s used to working with media types and the general public in his racing ...