Charon was a Finnish gothic metal band from Raahe, Finland. Charon was founded in 1992 by Antti Karihtala, Teemu Hautamäki, Pasi Sipilä, Jasse Hast and was a brutal death metal act. After releasing three promo albums and two demos, all self-released, the band signed a record deal with Emanzipation Productions. Through Emanzipation, Charon released their first two full-length albums Sorrowburn and Tearstained in 1998 and 2000 respectively. After touring with fellow Finlanders Sentenced, the band parted ways with Emanzipation and signed to Spinefarm Records. During the summer of 2001 Charon recorded their third studio album Downhearted. Prior to the release of the full album, the single Little Angel, which rose to number 5 on the Finnish singles chart, was released. In early 2002, Downhearted was released, it proved to be just as popular as the single; the album rose to the number 3 slot on the Finnish Album Charts while the video for the song "Little Angel" hit No. 1 on the Nordic Video List. The summer following the release of Downhearted the band went on tour in their native Finland, directly thereafter the band toured through Europe with Nightwish and After Forever.
In April 2003, the band released another single, In Trust of No One, which made its debut at No. 1 on the Finnish Singles Chart. Five months the Religious/Delicious single was released, followed by the band's fourth studio album The Dying Daylights. After the releases the band went on tour in Finland to support the album. In November 2003, guitarist Jasse von Hast left the band, citing a lack of interest in playing for the group and boredom with band-related activities as reason for doing so. Lauri Tuohimaa stepped in and became the band's new guitarist in January 2004. Charon went on yet another tour through Finland to support The Dying Daylights. After several more tours and the release of the single Colder, the band released its fifth album Songs for the Sinners on August 31, 2005. Since the band has toured extensively in Europe and Russia. Concerning further releases, the band stated, during the summer, that they had six new tracks ready to record; that autumn, another update was posted on the bands site stating that they have spent the last few weeks recording five new tracks for a demo and that they are negotiating a new record deal.
On June 3, 2011 the band has posted a news release on their website stating that they have decided to disband after summer concerts in their native Finland. Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto - Vocals Lauri Tuohimaa - Guitar Antti Karihtala - Drums Teemu Hautamäki - Bass Jasse von Hast - Guitar Pasi Sipilä - Guitar Sorrowburn Tearstained Downhearted The Dying Daylights Songs for the Sinners "Little Angel" "In Trust of No One" "Religious/Delicious" "Ride on Tears" "Colder" A-Sides, B-Sides & Suicides "November's Eve" "Little Angel" "Colder" "Ride on Tears" Official Myspace Unofficial French Forum
Rita Charon, is a physician, literary scholar and the Founder and Executive Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. She practices as a general internist at the Associates in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, is a professor of clinical medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Charon is the author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness and co-editor of Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics and Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine. Charon was born in Providence, Rhode Island and credits her father, a physician serving the French-Canadian population there, as her inspiration to go into medicine, she graduated with a B. A. in biology and child education from the Experimental College of Fordham University in 1970, after working as a teacher and peace activist, attended Harvard Medical School from 1974 to 1978, where she obtained her MD degree. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Residency Program in Social Medicine at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.
Dr. Charon began teaching at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1982 and was appointed full professor in 2001, she completed a doctorate in English from Columbia University in 1999, focusing her studies on the writing of Henry James and the role of literature in medicine. In 2000, she founded the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia, which launched the Master of Science in Narrative Medicine, the first graduate program of its kind, in 2009, she directs the Narrative Medicine curriculum for Columbia Medical School and teaches literature, narrative ethics, life-telling, both in the medical center and to students in the Narrative Medicine master's degree program. She has published and lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally, on the ways in which narrative training helps to increase empathy and reflection in health professionals and students, her literary scholarship focuses on the tales of Henry James. Her research projects center on the outcomes of training health care professionals in narrative competence and the development of narrative clinical routines to increase the capacity for clinical recognition in medical practice.
Dr. Charon’s research is supported by the NIH, the NEH, the Veterans Administration, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, several other private foundations, her work in narrative medicine has been recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American College of Physicians, the Society for Health and Human Values, the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, the Society of General Internal Medicine. She is the recipient of a Kaiser Faculty Scholar Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residence, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1987 she was the first physician to receive Columbia University's Virginia Kneeland Frantz Award for Outstanding Woman Doctor of the Year, she was named Outstanding Woman Physician of the year in 1996, in 1997 she received the National Award for Innovation in Medical Education from the Society of General Internal Medicine. In 2011 she was awarded the Alma Dea Morani, M. D. Renaissance Woman Award from the Foundation for the History of Women in Medicine.
Charon was selected as the 2018 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities by the National Endowment for the Humanities, delivered her lecture, "To See the Suffering: The Humanities Have What Medicine Needs," at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D. C. on October 15, 2018. Author of Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness Co-editor of Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics Co-editor of Psychoanalysis and Narrative Medicine Co-author of The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine. Dr. Charon was editor-in-chief of the journal Literature and Medicine Dr. Charon's essays and reviews have appeared in Narrative, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association,JAMA Literature and Medicine, The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine. Slow medicine Medical humanities video: Honoring the stories of illness | Dr. Rita Charon | TEDxAtlanta
Edme Viala Charon, Baron Charon was a French soldier who rose to the rank of Field Marshall. He was Governor General of Algeria during the French Second Republic, was a senator of France for most of the Second French Empire. Edme Viala Charon was born in Paris on 29 July 1794, his father was a postal employee. As a young man he was described as having light brown hair, a long nose, blue eyes, medium mouth, cleft chin, oval face and a height of 1.67 metres. He entered the École Polytechnique on 11 November 1811. On 8 October 1813 he was appointed Sub-Lieutenant of the Metz Army Engineers. Charon participated in the defense of Metz in 1814. On 23 May 1815 he was appointed Lieutenant of Engineers in the 6th Corps of the Army of the North, in this capacity fought at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Charon was promoted to Captain in 1821. In 1823 he fought in the French invasion of Spain, he was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour on 30 October 1827. He was at the capture of Antwerp in 1832.
He was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour on 14 January 1833. Charon was sent to Algeria in 1835, on 31 December 1835 was appointed Battalion Commander, he commanded the engineers at Bougie and Algiers. He distinguished himself at Blida and in the expeditions of Cherchell, Mascara and the Flissas, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 22 January 1839 and to Colonel on 2 June 1840. He was made Commander in Chief of the Engineers in 1841 and Field Marshall on 24 June 1845. After the February Revolution of 1848 the government appointed Charon Director of Algerian Affairs on 6 June 1848 Divisional General and Governor General of Algeria on 9 September 1848, he replaced the acting governor Guillaume Stanislas Marey-Monge. Batna was the site of a military camp built by Governor General Aumale in 1844. On 19 August 1849 Viala laid the foundation stone for a city, to be built in this location. In 2014 the stone had been destroyed during construction of a bus station. Charon observed that Algeria had "two distinct societies", it was necessary to accept that the "diversity of races and nations different needs."
He supported the Central Directorate's Project for the Organization of Muslim Public Instruction, although he felt it was a large concession to the Muslims and a temporary acceptance of the resilience of the indigenous cultures. In 1849 he wrote, One of the first mysteries to breach is that which still surrounds the organization of the religious sects that we have seen play the principal part in revolts since our conquests, which by the solidarity that links their scattered members in all the Muslim countries are the most serious obstacle we must overcome to establish ourselves properly in this country. On 24 December 1849 Charon told the Council of Government that the reports that Governor General Aumale had commissioned in 1847 had been "conceived in the most wise and liberal spirit," and confirmed that the "military chiefs who conquered Africa... were no less skillful... in the labor of peace as in the art of war." Charon was appointed President of the Fortifications Committee on 11 March 1850.
He was replaced as General commanding the XIX army corps on 5 November 1850 by General Alphonse Henri d'Hautpoul. Charon was promoted to Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour on 2 December 1850. On 16 April 1850 Charon married Elfride Schneider in Paris, she was the daughter of Antoine Virgile Schneider, Chevalier de l'Empire, Catherine, Countess Zalinska. They had Olivier Charon, Baron Charon. Charon cooperated with Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte's coup d'état of 2 December 1851. Charon was appointed President of the Consultative Committee on Algeria on 17 December 1851. On 31 December 1852 he was made a Senator of France, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour on 31 December 1857. He was named Baron Charon by imperial decree of 3 February 1864, he was Senator until the senate was dissolved with the fall of the empire on 4 September 1870. Charon died in Paris on 26 November 1880, at the age of 86
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is the third installment in a series of fantasy role-playing video games developed by Camelot Software Planning for Nintendo. Speculation of a third entry in the franchise began soon after the release of its predecessor, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, in 2002, culminating in a widely-spread hoax game being revealed at a pre-E3 2007 gathering; the game was first announced as "Golden Sun DS" at E3 2009, while the name and release window was subsequently revealed in Nintendo's E3 2010 presentation. Released in late 2010 for the Nintendo DS hand-held console, Dark Dawn was the fifth-best selling game during its release window in Japan. Dark Dawn is set thirty years after the events of the first two games and follows the path of the descendants of the earlier games' heroes. Players control characters; the game utilizes gameplay elements pioneered by its predecessors the use of magic to defeat enemies and discover new locations, help local populations and find elemental djinn which can augment the player's powers.
The game was well received by critics, receiving a 79% rating on the review aggregation website Metacritic, although its score was lower than both of its predecessors. Dark Dawn was praised for transitioning the 2D-style graphics of its predecessors into 3D for the Nintendo DS and for being easy for newcomers to the franchise to play. However, critics noted that some of the shortcomings in the previous games, such as excessive in-game dialogue, were present in this installment, that the features of the Golden Sun series that were refreshing when the original games were released now felt dated. Dark Dawn, like its predecessors, uses the traditional role-playing video game formula. Players guide characters through a fantasy-themed world as they interact with other characters, battle monsters, acquire powerful Psynergy and equipment and take part in a predefined narrative. Unlike the previous games, some locations become inaccessible after certain points, although new locations become accessible after players acquire a ship.
A new feature is the addition of an encyclopedia system, which explains and keeps track of new and returning gameplay elements to players. Much of the time spent outside of battle takes place either in the game's overworld or within dungeons and other locales with puzzles integrated into their layout. To complete puzzles, players must utilize the environment around them to complete a given objective. Many puzzles revolve around the game’s resident form of magic spells, requiring the player to leverage different Psynergy spells to surmount and obstacle; the player gains more Psynergy spells as the game progresses, either through leveling up or acquiring special items and with each new Psynergy spell, the party may gain access to more locations and secrets hidden within the game world. The Nintendo DS hardware allows players to use Psynergy to manipulate their surroundings in ways that were not possible in previous installments. Dark Dawn contains both random monster encounters and compulsory battles.
Battles take place on the lower screen, where the enemy party and the player's party are displayed on opposing sides. In battle, the player is required to defeat enemies via direct attacks with weapons, offensive Psynergy spells, other means of causing damage, all while keeping his or her own combatant alive through items and supportive Psynergy that heal and raise defensive stats. Unlike the first two Golden Sun games, Dark Dawn features a smarter intelligent targeting system that allows one of two party members who target the same enemy to intelligently target a random undefeated enemy once the initial enemy is defeated by another member. One of the most distinguishing features in the Golden Sun series is the Djinn system, where the player collects and manipulates elemental creatures called Djinn. In Dark Dawn, a host of new Djinn are introduced. Djinn form the basis of the game’s stat enhancement system, Djinn that are "set" to a certain character dictate that character’s Psynergy capabilities.
Allocating Djinn among different characters modifies the characters' classes, altering hit points, Psynergy points, general stats and changing the available Psynergy for each character. There are 72 obtainable Djinn in the game, which allow for a large array of possible class setups for all eight playable characters and supports a variety of combat options. Dark Dawn continues its predecessors' struggle in the land of Weyard, where alchemy is both a source of power for creating civilization and for destroying the world. Thanks to the efforts of protagonists in the previous games, the seal that contained the power of alchemy at Mount Aleph was removed at the end of The Lost Age; the power of alchemy, in the form of the Golden Sun, began to restore the declining world. Dark Dawn begins thirty years after the conclusion of The Lost Age; as a result, continents shifted, new countries emerged, new species appeared in Weyard. However, "Psynergy Vortexes", which suck the elemental Psynergy from both the land and the power-wielding "adepts", began appearing all over the world.
Dark Dawn follows the adventures of the descendants of the previous games' protagonists as they attempt to resolve the problems caused by the Psynergy Vortexes. The primary group consists of the children of the heroes from the original Golden Sun games, all of whom are adepts; the leader is Matthew, a silent and strong-willed adept, the son of Isaac and Jenna from the original games. His initial companions consist of his childhood friends: Tyrell, Garet's mischievous son, Karis
In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person; some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years. In the catabasis mytheme, heroes – such as Aeneas, Heracles, Odysseus, Pirithous, Psyche and Sisyphus – journey to the underworld and return, still alive, conveyed by the boat of Charon. Charon is the son of Erebus, he was the brother of, among many others and Hypnos. The name Charon is most explained as a proper noun from χάρων, a poetic form of χαρωπός, "of keen gaze", referring either to fierce, flashing, or feverish eyes, or to eyes of a bluish-gray color; the word may be a euphemism for death. Flashing eyes may indicate the anger or irascibility of Charon as he is characterized in literature, but the etymology is not certain.
The ancient historian Diodorus Siculus thought that the ferryman and his name had been imported from Egypt. Charon is depicted in the art of ancient Greece. Attic funerary vases of the 5th and 4th centuries BC are decorated with scenes of the dead boarding Charon's boat. On the earlier such vases, he looks like a rough, unkempt Athenian seaman dressed in reddish-brown, holding his ferryman's pole in his right hand and using his left hand to receive the deceased. Hermes sometimes stands by in his role as psychopomp. On vases, Charon is given a more "kindly and refined" demeanor. In the 1st century BC, the Roman poet Virgil describes Charon, manning his rust-colored skiff, in the course of Aeneas's descent to the underworld, after the Cumaean Sibyl has directed the hero to the golden bough that will allow him to return to the world of the living: There Charon stands, who rules the dreary coast –A sordid god: down from his hairy chinA length of beard descends, unclean. Other Latin authors describe Charon, among them Seneca in his tragedy Hercules Furens, where Charon is described in verses 762–777 as an old man clad in foul garb, with haggard cheeks and an unkempt beard, a fierce ferryman who guides his craft with a long pole.
When the boatman tells Heracles to halt, the Greek hero uses his strength to gain passage, overpowering Charon with the boatman's own pole. In the second century, Lucian employed Charon as a figure in his Dialogues of the Dead, most notably in Parts 4 and 10. In the 14th century, Dante Alighieri described Charon in his Divine Comedy, drawing from Virgil's depiction in Aeneid 6. Charon is the first named mythological character Dante meets in the underworld, in Canto III of the Inferno. Dante depicts him as having eyes of fire. Elsewhere, Charon appears as a mean-spirited and gaunt old man or as a winged demon wielding a double hammer, although Michelangelo's interpretation, influenced by Dante's depiction in the Inferno, shows him with an oar over his shoulder, ready to beat those who delay. In modern times, he is depicted as a living skeleton in a cowl, much like the Grim Reaper; the French artist, Gustave Dore, depicted Charon in two of his illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy. The Flemish painter, Joachim Patinir, depicted Charon in his Crossing the River Styx.
And the Spanish painter, Jose Benlliure y Gil, portrayed Charon in his La Barca de Caronte. Most accounts, including Pausanias and Dante's Inferno, associate Charon with the swamps of the river Acheron. Ancient Greek literary sources – such as Pindar, Euripides and Callimachus – place Charon on the Acheron. Roman poets, including Propertius and Statius, name the river as the Styx following the geography of Virgil's underworld in the Aeneid, where Charon is associated with both rivers. Charon, the largest moon of the dwarf planet Pluto, is named after him; the hadrosaurid Charonosaurus is named in Charon's honor because it was found along the banks of the Amur River in the Far East. "Haros" is the modern Greek equivalent of Charon, usage includes the curse "you will be eaten by Haros", or "I was in the teeth of Haros". During the Korean War, the Greek Expeditionary Force defended; the Greek soldiers referred to it as "Outpost Haros". Charon's obol - a coin placed in the mouth of the dead Charun - an Etruscan counterpart to Charon Isle of the Dead - a painting Manannán mac Lir - Ferryman from Irish mythology Manunggul Jar - Early depiction similar figure on burial jar from Tabon Caves on Palawan Phlegyas - another god associated with ferrying the dead Psychopomp - the general word for a guide of the dead Urshanabi - Ferryman from Mesopotamian mythology Smith, William.
"Charon" Media related to Charon at Wikimedia Commons The Theoi Project, "KHARON" Images of Charon in the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Golden Sun: The Lost Age, released under different names in some regions, is a 2002 role-playing video game for the Game Boy Advance, developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo. It is the second installment in the Golden Sun series, it was released on June 28, 2002 in Japan, through 2003 in North America and Europe. Picking up the story during the events of the previous game, The Lost Age puts the player into the roles of the previous games' antagonists from the perspective of magic-attuned "adepts" Felix and his allies as they seek to restore the power of alchemy to the world of Weyard. Along the way, the player uses psynergy to defeat enemies and discover new locations, help out local populations, find elemental djinn which augment the characters' powers. Players can transfer their characters and items from Golden Sun to The Lost Age by means of a password system or Game Link Cable, players are rewarded for completing both games. Upon release, The Lost Age was positively received by audiences.
IGN ranked the game as the eighth-best Game Boy Advance title of 2003 and the 22nd-best GBA game of all time. It has sold over 680,000 units, it was followed by a third installment, titled Dark Dawn, released in 2010 and set thirty years after the two original games. The Lost Age presents a similar traditional role-playing video game formula that its first half pioneered. Players guide a cast of characters as they journey through a fantasy-themed world, interact with other characters, battle monsters, acquire powerful magic spells and equipment, take part in a building, predefined narrative. While many actions the player takes are compulsory and central to the story, The Lost Age allows the player to complete many objectives in the order of their choice. Much of the time spent outside of battle takes place either in the game's overworld or within dungeons and other locales with puzzles integrated into their layout. Unlike the original game, in which the overworld was explored on foot except for a brief, non-navigable boat ride, a large portion of The Lost Age's gameplay involves navigating a magical ship across a large sea, visiting continents and islands.
To complete puzzles, players must either push pillars to construct negotiable paths between elevated areas, climb up or descend cliffs, or obtain a special item to progress through the story and game world. Many of these puzzles revolve around the usage of the game’s resident form of magic spells, requiring the player to find items that grant the bearer new forms of Psynergy in order to accomplish tasks. Acquiring new Psynergy spells gives players access to new locations and secrets hidden within the game world. Whereas many role-playing video games limit the usage of their forms of magic to battles as offensive and defensive measures, Psynergy spells are heavily used in puzzles and exploration; some types of Psynergy can only be used in combat. Still other Psynergy can be used for both situations; the player gains more and more Psynergy spells as the game progresses, either through levelling up or acquiring and equipping, or using, special items, with each "utility" Psynergy spell the party gains access to more locations and secrets hidden within the game world.
Players will be required to return to previous locations in the game to finish off puzzles which they could not solve earlier because of the lack of specific Psynergy spells. The Lost Age contains both random monster encounters and compulsory battles; when a battle begins, a separate screen is brought up where the enemy party is on the opposing side and the player’s party is on the battling side. While a battle being is conducted, the characters and background swirl around and change positions in a pseudo-3D effect. Gameplay in relation to The Lost Age's battle mode is similar to traditional role-playing video games. In each battle, the player is required to defeat all the enemies using direct attacks with weapons, offensive Psynergy spells, other means of causing damage, all while keeping their own party alive through items and supportive Psynergy that restore life and supplement defense. If all the player's characters are downed by reducing their hit points to zero, the party is returned to the last village that the player visited and suffers a monetary penalty.
The successful completion of a battle yields experience points and rare items. In addition to the main game itself, there is a competitive battling mode accessible from the menu screen, where players can enter their teams into an arena to battle difficult CPU-controlled enemies or other players head-to-head. One of the most important features in the Golden Sun series is the collection and manipulation of elemental creatures called Djinn, The Lost Age introduces a host of new Djinn, they can be found scattered in hiding throughout the game. There are eleven Djinn for each of the four elements. Djinn form the basis of the game’s statistics enhancement system, the way they are allocated to different characters modifies the characters' classes, increasing maximum hit points, Psynergy points, other statistics, alters the available Psynergy that the characters can perform. Djinni may be used to directly at
Blue Origin, LLC is an American funded aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is developing technologies to enable private human access to space with the goal to lower costs and increase reliability. Blue Origin is employing an incremental approach from suborbital to orbital flight, with each developmental step building on its prior work; the company motto is Gradatim Ferociter, Latin for "Step by Step, Ferociously". Blue Origin is developing a variety of technologies, with a focus on rocket-powered vertical takeoff and vertical landing vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space; the company's name refers to Earth, as the point of origin. Focused on suborbital spaceflight, the company has designed and flown multiple testbeds of its New Shepard spacecraft at its facilities in Culberson County, Texas. Developmental test flights of the New Shepard, named after the first American in space Alan Shepard, began in April 2015, flight testing continued into 2018, with its first passenger-carrying spaceflight planned for 2019.
On nearly every one of the test flights since 2015, the uncrewed vehicle has reached a test altitude of more than 100 km and achieved a top speed of more than Mach 3, reaching space above the Kármán line, with both the space capsule and its rocket booster soft landing, making reuse possible. By 2016, the second New Shepard booster test article had made four flights, each time exceeding 100 km in altitude, before returning for successful soft landings. Blue Origin has become a part of a "dramatic metamorphosis" of the space industry in recent years, having moved into the orbital spaceflight technology business in 2014 as a rocket engine supplier for others via a contractual agreement to build a new large rocket engine, the BE-4, for major US launch system operator United Launch Alliance. ULA is considering the BE-3, Blue Origin's smaller rocket engine used on New Shepard, for use in a new second stage—the Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage —which will become the primary upper stage for ULA's Vulcan orbital launch vehicle in the 2020s.
By 2015, Blue Origin had announced plans to manufacture and fly its own orbital launch vehicle from the Florida Space Coast, known as the New Glenn. BE-4 had been expected to complete engine qualification testing by late 2018, but the test program continued into 2019. Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos had been interested in space from an early age. A profile published in 2013 described a 1982 Miami Herald interview Bezos gave after he was named valedictorian of his high school class; the 18-year-old Bezos said he wanted "to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people who would be in orbit.'The whole idea is to preserve the earth' he told the newspaper... The goal was to be able to evacuate humans; the planet would become a park."In 1999, after watching the rocketry biopic film October Sky, Bezos discussed with science-fiction author Neal Stephenson the idea of forming a space company. Blue Origin was founded in 2000 in Kent and began developing both rocket propulsion systems and launch vehicles.
Since the founding, the company was secretive about its plans and emerged from its "self-imposed silence" only after 2015. While the company was formally incorporated in 2000, its existence became public only in 2003, when Bezos began buying land in Texas, interested parties followed up on the purchases; this was a topic of some interest in local politics, Bezos' rapid aggregation of lots under a variety of whimsically named shell companies was called a "land grab". From 2003 to 2017, Blue Origin was led by Rob Meyerson. Now Senior Vice President, Meyerson leads the Advanced Development Program business. In July 2013, the company employed 250 people. By May 2015, they had grown to 400 employees, with 350 of those working on engineering and business operations in the Kent location and 50 in Texas supporting the engine-test and suborbital test-flight facility. By April 2017, the company had more than 1000 employees. In August 2018, the company was more than 1500 employees, more than double the number in early 2016, is "expected to double again by the time New Glenn is flying."As of 2016, Blue Origin was spending US$1 billion a year, funded by Jeff Bezos' sales of Amazon stock.
In both 2017, again in 2018, Bezos made public statements that he intends to fund Blue Origin with US$1 billion per year from sales of his equity in Amazon. As early as 2005, Bezos had discussed plans to create a vertical-takeoff and landing spaceship called New Shepard. Plans for New Shepard were kept quiet, but Blue Origin's website indicated Bezos' desire to, "lower the cost of spaceflight so that... we humans can better continue exploring the solar system." By 2008, a publicized timetable for New Shepard indicated that Blue Origin intended to fly unmanned in 2011, manned in 2012. In a 2011 interview, Bezos indicated that he founded Blue Origin to send customers into space by focusing on two objectives: to decrease the cost and to increase the safety of human spaceflight. By July 2014, Bezos had invested over US$500 million of his own money into Blue Origin; the first developmental test flight of the New Shepard occurred on 29 April 2015. The uncrewed vehicle flew to its planned test altitude of more than 93.5 km and achieved a top speed of Mach 3.
In July 2015, NanoRacks, a provider of services such as payload design and development, safety approvals, integration, announced a partnership with Blue Origin to provide standar