Jeff Bezos can buy anything he wants, and apparently, that includes a (brief) trip to space.
The billionaire, who is stepping down as CEO of Amazon, plans to take a suborbital ride this summer using a rocket made by his space exploration company, Blue Origin, which he founded in 2000. “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space”, said Bezos in a video posted to his Instagram. “If you see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth”.
Bezos ended his Instagram post with Blue Origin’s Latin motto – gradatim ferociter – which the company translates as “step by step ferociously”.
When is Jeff Bezos going to space?
The space flight is scheduled for 20 July 2021, or the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Keep in mind Bezos is retiring his Amazon CEO title a few weeks earlier on 5 July, at which point Andy Jassy will take over the company. Jassy currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing division.
Is Jeff Bezos making the trip alone?
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is a reusable, fully automated spacecraft with enough room for six passengers onboard. So, Bezos invited his brother, Mark Bezos, to join him, as well as Wally Funk, an 82-year-old woman who passed NASA’s astronaut training program in the 1960s and is one of the original Mercury 13. A mystery bidder, who won a Blue Origin charity auction after pledging $28 million, will also climb aboard.
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How deep into space will Jeff Bezos fly?
Well, the Karman line is the altitude at which space begins. It’s about 62 miles above sea level. And Bezos’ flight is expected to last about 11 minutes, with only a few minutes of that time spent above the Karman line, according to a graphic of the flight trajectory on Blue Origin’s website.
How to watch Jeff Bezos go into space
Bezos has provided no details about how people could watch the launch. However, Blue Origin test launches have been live-streamed through the Blue Origin website and Blue Origin YouTube channel. We suspect both will live-stream Bezos’ flight as well. We hope to embed it here, if so.