Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, will “join the astronaut club” on Tuesday (20/7) in the first crewed launch by Blue Origin. It will be a new pivotal moment for the space tourism industry.
The mission will come days after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson shot into space, ahead of the Amazon founder.
But Blue Origin’s target is higher: both in terms of height and future ambitions. They claim their New Shepard spacecraft will fly higher than Virgin.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, with the goal of one day building an artificial gravity floating space colony where millions of people live and work.
Now, the company is developing a rocket called the New Glenn as well as a lunar vehicle that it hopes to become part of NASA’s Artemis program.
“They’ve already successfully launched 15 unmanned New Shepard flights and we’ve been waiting years to see when they will start flying humans,” Laura Forczyk, founder of space consulting firm Astralytical, told Reuters. AFP.
The New Shepard will launch at 8:00 a.m. Central U.S. time (7 p.m. EST) on July 20 from a remote facility in the Texas desert called Launch Site One, about 40 kilometers from the nearest town, Van Horn. [vm/ah]