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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

How and when to see Jeff Bezos in space

by Marcia Dunn | AP Aerospace Writer

VAN HORN, Texas – Jeff Bezos is about to board the first flight of his space travel company.

The founder of Blue Origin as well as Amazon will become the second billionaire on Tuesday to ride his own rocket. She will launch from West Texas with her brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, and an 82-year-old female aviation pioneer from Texas – the youngest and oldest woman ever.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is set to blast off with its eclectic group of passengers on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Liftoff is set for 6 a.m. Pacific Time.

blue is original Launch streaming on YouTube:

Bezos is aiming for an altitude of about 66 miles, more than 10 miles from Richard Branson’s ride on July 11.

The capsule is fully automated, so there is no need for trained crews on a quick up and down flight, which is expected to last only 10 minutes. Two pilots are needed to operate Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket plane.

Bezos’s dream-cum-true journey follows 15 successful test flights to space by a New Shepard rocket since 2015, all of them empty. If successful, Blue Origin plans to have two more passenger flights by the end of the year.

FILE – This undated image provided by Blue Origin shows an example of a capsule that will be used to carry tourists into space. Blue Origin announced on Thursday, July 15, 2021, that 18-year-old Oliver Damon will be on board, instead of the auction winner, launching Tuesday with founder Jeff Bezos. The company said he would be the first paying customer, but did not disclose the price of his ticket. (Blue Origin via AP)

The company has yet to open ticket sales to the public and is filling upcoming flights with people who participated in a $28 million charity auction last month for a fourth capsule seat. Mystery Winner pulled out of Tuesday’s launch due to a scheduling conflict. This opened the slot for Oliver Damon, a college-going student from the Netherlands, whose father was among the unsuccessful bidders.

Also flying: Bezos’ younger brothers, Mark and Wally Funk, one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests as NASA’s Mercury astronauts in the early 1960s, but failed to make the cut because they were women .

In this photo provided by Blue Origin, from left to right: Mark Bezos, brother of Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and space tourism company Blue Origin; Oliver Damen from the Netherlands and aviation pioneer Wally Funk from Texas pose for a photo. (Blue Origin via AP)

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The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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