- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark, will ride to the edge of space on Blue Origin’s first crewed flight.
- On July 20, 2021, the winner of an online auction will join the Bezos brothers aboard the New Shepard rocket.
- Bezos stepped down as CEO from Amazon earlier this year to focus on Blue Origin.
Jeff Bezos is ready for lift-off.
The Amazon founder and Blue Origin CEO announced this morning that he and his brother, Mark Bezos, will ride aboard New Shepard’s first crewed flight, which is scheduled to launch from Blue Origin’s Texas facility on July 20, 2021. The Bezos brothers will journey to the edge of space alongside the lucky winner of an auction.
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“To see the Earth from space, it changes you, changes your relationship with this planet. It’s one Earth,” Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram. “I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”
Last month, Blue Origin announced an auction for one open seat on the first crewed flight of New Shepard, Blue Origin’s reusable rocket. The auction, which closes this Saturday, June 12, has raised over $2.8 million from nearly 6,000 participants in 143 countries.
The three-person crew will ascend to the edge of space aboard New Shepard. About 4 minutes into flight, once the vehicle reaches that edge—known as the Kármán line—roughly 62 miles above sea level, the booster and capsule will separate.
New Shepard’s passengers will briefly enjoy the weightlessness of space before making the journey back to Earth’s surface. Approximately 7 minutes after launch, the separated booster will autonomously land just 2 miles north of the launch pad.
Since 2015, Blue Origin has conducted 14 successful tests (and one partially successful test) of New Shepard. During the most recent test in April, Blue Origin astronauts practiced getting strapping into their seats before launch. It took about 11 minutes for the suborbital rocket and its capsule to reach the Kármán line.
New Shepard is powered by Blue Origin’s BE-3 engine, which generates roughly 110,000 pounds of thrust at launch. The crewed capsule can accommodate up to six passengers. Blue Origin also has an orbital rocket called New Glenn in the works, and is currently sparring with NASA over the selection of the agency’s next lunar lander, a contract it lost to SpaceX.
In February, Bezos announced he would be stepping down from his position as CEO of Amazon to focus on Blue Origin. Heading to space isn’t too bad for your first big business trip.
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