Jeff Bezos
(Photo : GettlyImages/ SOPA Images ) Blue Origin

Blue Origin is embroiled in another controversy as 21 employees claimed that the company had ignored safety concerns because it is focused on getting ahead in the space race.

The employees, including the firm's former head of employee communications, also accused the company of having a toxic environment.  

Safety Issues

According to BBC, aside from reports of sexual harassment, a while blower claims that Blue Origin also has safety issues. 

The whistleblower stated that the space firm ignored safety concerns because it wanted to win the space race against other billionaires.

After the report was released, Blue Origin denied all claims and said it has a solid safety record. However, the whistleblower stated that more than 1,000 reports regarding the engines that power the rockers have never been investigated and addressed.  

Also Read: Blue Origin vs. Virgin Galactic: Differences of New Shepard and Unity-22 Spacecrafts from Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson

A Blue Origin spokesperson said that the company gives numerous avenues for its employees, including an anonymous hotline that is available 24/7. They will investigate all new claims of misconduct and ignore the safety protocol. 

The spokesperson added that the company has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment in the workplace. 

The employees, led by Alexandra Abrams, Blue Origin's former head of internal communications, wrote a letter revealing the workplace environment in the company and sent it to the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority or FFA before Lioness published it on Sept. 30. 

Raising concerns over the standards of the firm's rocket, New Shepard, which Jeff Bezos used to travel into space back in July, the writers stated that engineers who signed on to the essay said that they are lucky nothing happened to the rocket so far due to its poor condition. 

The letter also stated that the company has never addressed more than 1,000 reports of issues connected to the rocket's engines.

A lot of Blue Origin employees said that they would not fly on the rocket. 

The FAA regulates rocket launches in the United States and said that they take all safety allegations seriously, and they are now reviewing the information that was sent to them. 

Sexism and Harassment

Aside from the safety concerns, the employees also claimed that Blue Origin's management has a particular brand of sexism as numerous senior staff members and managers display inappropriate behavior towards female employees. 

A senior executive was reported to HR several times for harassment. However, there was no action taken, and the executive was later placed on a panel that oversees the appointment of a new senior HR position, according to Reuters. 

Another Blue Origin executive was notorious for sexist behavior that new female employees were warned to stay away from him. 

The group alleged that the executive was protected because he has a close personal relationship with Bezos. The final straw was when he groped a female employee, and he was finally fired. 

A spokesperson of Blue Origin stated that Abrams was let go two years ago after repeated warnings for issues involving federal export control regulations. 

Meanwhile, Abrams told CBS News that she never got any warnings from the company related to export control issues. 

In July, Blue Origin made the first flight of its New Shepard rocket ship, with Bezos onboard. 

However, he received backlash due to unnecessary spending, and several Blue Origin employees resigned as a result. 

The rocket is built to serve the surging market for space tourism. Blue Origin's New Shepard is facing stiff competition from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic.  

Related Article: Blue Origin Memes: Elon Musk Agrees with Entries Throwing Shades at Space Company Amidst Lawsuit

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Written by Sophie Webster

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