The founder of Amazon will shortly arrive in space on the New Shepard craft, and here’s how you can follow every moment from lift-off.
On July 20, Jeff Bezos and his crew will be rocketed into space on the New Shepard craft as part of Blue Origin’s space programme. The launch is scheduled to take place at approximately 9am EST (that’s 2pm UK time), and you can watch the whole event unfold live via the video stream embedded below:
Accompanying Bezos on this flight will be his brother, Mark Bezos; Wally Funk, a member of the early Mercury programme run by NASA, who will become the oldest person in space; and Oliver Daemon, an eighteen year old student who will become the youngest person in space.
While the CEO of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, sped up his company’s plans in order to beat Jeff Bezos into space, Blue Origin still may have the edge in several respects; most especially, the craft will reach heights of 106km (350,000 feet) above the Earth’s surface which is significantly higher than Branson’s test flight managed (85km or 282,000 feet). The capsule also has the biggest windows of any craft flown into space, giving passengers the best view that money can buy.
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Money is very much a key component of this mission of course; not only was the whole enterprise spearheaded by multibillionaire Jeff Bezos’ private funds, while the first ticket was sold for $28 million to a private bidder – who incredibly pulled out due to a ‘scheduling conflict’. Now unless they’d forgotten their own wedding, I can’t imagine what the conflicting event could possibly have been.
Space flight is always an exciting possibility, but it’s hard to deny that some of its shine is lost in becoming a mere hobby for the super-rich.