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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos speaks during a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Jeff Bezos scored his first customer as his space race against Elon Musk heats up


As the race for space innovation continues, Jeff Bezos has unveiled future plans for his space company, Blue Origin. 

At a Tuesday conference in Washington, D.C., the billionaire, who also owns Amazon and The Washington Post, announced that a French-based company known Eutelsat Communications has signed on to help with the development of the company's New Glenn orbital rocket, which is expected to fly at the end of the decade, according to The Washington Post.

Blue Origin's new contract makes it possible for the New Glenn rocket to launch a geostationary satellite for Eutelsat Communications in 2021 or 2022, according to Space.com.<br>

"We couldn't hope for a better first partner," Bezos said during a keynote address at the Satellite 2017 conference. 

"In including New Glenn in our manifest, we are pursuing our longstanding strategy of innovation that drives down the cost of access to space and drives up performance," Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer said in the statement. "This can only be good news for the profitability and sustainability of our industry."

Introducing New Glenn

WATCH | Take a first look at Blue Origin's New Glenn orbital rocket.

Details surrounding the New Glenn orbital rocket arrived just a day after Bezos shared a photo of its engine.

The New Glenn is likely to put Blue Origin on par with the rockets created by Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon rockets, CBS News reported. Bezos and Musk have enjoyed a friendly rivalry in the past, and the healthy competition between the two is already spurring big ideas.

Last week, Musk announced plans to provide two private citizens with the opportunity to ride in a lunar capsule as early as next year. “It would skim the surface of the moon, go quite a bit further out into deep space and then loop back to Earth,” Musk said.

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