Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon announced on June 7, 2021, that he will travel to space on July 20, 2021, on the first crewed flight capsule New Shepard built by his company Blue Origin along with his brother Mark.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” said Bezos. “To see the Earth from space, it changes you,” he added. Bezos has invited his brother to tag along as they are the closest friends.
Blue Origin is auctioning the third seat on its first crewed flight New Shepard with bids up to $3.2 million from participants all around the world. The bidding process will go on till June 10. The final phase of bidding will be held via a live online auction on June 12, 2021.
Bezos will be the world’s first richest person in the gamut of billionaire space tycoons to fly to space in a space vehicle built by his own company.
What is New Shepard?
• New Shepard capsule is a reusable suborbital rocket system built by Blue Origin, a space company owned by Jeff Bezos.
• The space capsule has been designed to take space tourists to experience microgravity and view Earth from space past the Karman line. The capsule goes up to 100 km above Earth.
• New Shepard was named after Alan Shepard, the first American to travel to space 60 years ago. The New Shephard operates autonomously which means it requires no pilot.
Where will the New Shephard capsule go in space?
• The capsule will blast off from Earth and spend 10 minutes above the Karman line that marks the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.
• After lift-off, Blue Origin’s six-seater capsule will separate from the booster and reach more than 60 (100 kilometers) above Earth.
• During this 11-minute trip, four passengers aboard the capsule’s first flight will experience zero gravity and observe the Earth’s curvature from space.
• The booster will fall back on Earth on a pad two miles from the launch site while the capsule will land back on Earth with three large parachutes.
Test launch of New Shephard?
• In the past six years, fifteen uncrewed tests have been conducted on Blue Origin’s fully reusable New Shephard from its facility in the Guadalupe Mountains, West Texas, US.