Two decades after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos established space company Blue Origin, the world’s richest man is set to create history today. The former Amazon CEO will be joined by three others in Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket that will fly to the edge of space. With this, Mr Bezos would have joined the ranks of his English rival, businessman Richard Branson, who also recently flew to the edge of space in his spacecraft. The flight on Tuesday could very well be considered as the first step in Blue Origin’s objective to create “a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth.”
Prior to the flight, members of the team are made to undergo several sets of safety briefings. In addition to this, there will also be privy to a simulation of the spaceflight, a review of the rocket and its operations, and be given instructions on how to float around the craft’s cabin after the capsule escapes Earth’s gravity. Additionally, Blue Origin has been flight testing the New Shepard rocket since 2012, with 15 successful consecutive missions.
Members Of The Crew
Mr Bezos will be accompanied on the flight by his 53-year-old brother Mark Bezos, an 82-year-old former pilot, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen, 18.
Of the four, Ms Funk has had an illustrious career as a pilot and flight instructor. She was, in fact, one of the members of the “Mercury 13”, a group of women who were considered eligible to travel to space but never got the chance to do so. Ms Funk is considered one of the pioneers of her field and is the first civilian flight instructor at the Army’s Fort Sill as well as the first female National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator.
Mr Daemen, on the other hand, was picked for the flight after a billionaire bidder who had won the spot on the first flight had to pull out a full days ago. He is also set to be the youngest person in space.
Details Of The Launch
The 60-feet-tall New Shepard contains a reusable rocket booster and capsule. The capsule can host up to six passengers and is fully autonomous, eradicating the need for a human pilot.
The flight, expected to last for a duration of nearly 11 minutes, will take the crew up to the Karman line, which is at a height of 100 kilometres from the ground. However, USA recognises a distance of 80 kilometres as the edge of space. This is why Mr Branson’s flight, on having managed to fly above 85 kilometres, was recognised to have travelled to space. Blue Origin, on the other hand, is expected to travel up to the entire 100 kilometres boundary.
Where To Watch The Launch
A live online broadcast of the launch will be provided by Blue Origin on its website. You can click here to watch the launch. The webcast by the company will begin around 5pm in India. The launch is scheduled to start at 6.30pm.