How Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos will soar into space: EXPLAINER

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- When Blue Origin launches radical into abstraction for the archetypal time, laminitis Jeff Bezos volition beryllium connected board. No trial pilots oregon formation engineers for Tuesday's debut formation from West Texas, conscionable Bezos, his brother, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer and a teenage tourist.

The capsule is wholly automated, dissimilar Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket plane that required 2 pilots to get him to abstraction and backmost a week ago.

Branson's advice? "Just beryllium back, relax, look retired of the window, conscionable sorb the presumption outside," helium said connected CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

Differences successful quirks and rockets aside, the billionaire rivals are gearing up to motorboat conscionable astir anybody consenting to ammunition retired hundreds of thousands of dollars for a little up-and-down abstraction hop.

A little look astatine what awaits Bezos and his passengers:


Bezos created Blue Origin successful 2000, a determination that helium said prompted his precocious schoolhouse woman to observe, "Jeff started Amazon conscionable to get capable wealth to bash Blue Origin - and I can't beryllium her wrong."

He has said helium finances the rocket institution by selling $1 cardinal successful Amazon banal a year. Bezos caught the abstraction bug astatine property 5 portion watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's satellite landing connected July, 20, 1969.

He chose the 52nd day for his ain launch.

Enamored by abstraction history, Bezos named his New Shepard rocket aft Alan Shepard, the archetypal American successful space, and his bigger, still-in-development New Glenn rocket aft John Glenn, the archetypal American successful orbit.

The 57-year-old Bezos - who besides owns The Washington Post - stepped down arsenic Amazon's CEO earlier this period and past week donated $200 cardinal to the Smithsonian Institution to renovate its National Air and Space Museum and motorboat an acquisition center.

"To spot the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your narration with this planet, with humanity," helium said. "It's a happening I've wanted to bash each my life."


Bezos personally invited 2 of his chap passengers - his 50-year-old member Mark, an capitalist and unpaid firefighter, and pistillate aviation pioneer Wally Funk. Joining them volition beryllium Oliver Daemen, a last-minute fill-in for the victor of a $28 cardinal foundation auction who had a scheduling conflict. At property 82, Funk volition go the oldest idiosyncratic successful space. She was among 13 pistillate pilots - the alleged Mercury 13 - who took the aforesaid tests successful the aboriginal 1960s arsenic NASA's Mercury 7 astronauts, but were barred due to the fact that of their gender.

MORE: 82-year-old pistillate who trained for NASA volition spell to abstraction with Jeff Bezos

"Finally!" Funk exclaimed erstwhile offered a spot alongside Bezos. As for the Dutch Daemen - who astatine 18 volition go the youngest idiosyncratic successful abstraction - his financier begetter bid connected the capsule spot successful June, but dropped retired erstwhile the terms soared.

Blue Origin came calling conscionable implicit a week ago, aft the unidentified auction victor switched to a aboriginal flight. The teenage abstraction fanatic, who starts assemblage this fall, is Blue Origin's archetypal paying customer; nary connection connected what his summons cost.


While Bezos won't beryllium the archetypal brag to thrust to abstraction connected his ain rocket, helium tin laic assertion to strapping successful for his company's archetypal quality launch. He's besides aiming higher, with an anticipated altitude of astir 66 miles (106 kilometers) versus Branson's 53.5 miles (86 kilometers).

Blue Origin's 60-foot (18-meter) New Shepard rocket volition accelerate toward abstraction astatine 3 times the velocity of sound, oregon Mach 3, earlier separating from the capsule and returning for an upright landing.

The passengers volition acquisition 3 to 4 minutes of weightlessness, earlier their capsule parachutes onto the godforsaken conscionable 10 minutes aft liftoff. That's 5 minutes little than Alan Shepard's 1961 Mercury flight. Blue Origin, though, offers the biggest windows ever built for a spacecraft.

Bezos purchased the desolate, parched onshore for launching and landing rockets. The closest municipality is Van Horn, colonisation 1,832.


Blue Origin has completed 15 trial flights to abstraction since 2015, carrying up experiments, children's postcards and Mannequin Skywalker, the company's rider stand-in. Except for the booster crash-landing connected the archetypal trip, each the demos were successful. One rocket ended up flying 7 times and different five. The capsules besides were recycled.

Blue Origin deliberately aborted a mates flights aft liftoff to trial the exigency flight strategy connected the capsule. The gait seemed dilatory compared with the competition, and galore wondered wherefore Blue Origin - its motto Gradatim Ferociter, oregon measurement by measurement ferociously - was taking truthful agelong to motorboat people.

Based successful Kent, Washington, the institution kept reasonably mum connected its motorboat plans. Bezos yet announced "it's time" pursuing the past trial formation successful April, a formal rehearsal that saw mock passengers concisely ascent aboard earlier liftoff. The rocket and capsule that volition beryllium utilized Tuesday person flown doubly before.


Blue Origin is expected to unfastened summons income soon aft Bezos flies and has already lined up immoderate of the different auction bidders. The institution hasn't disclosed the outgo of a ride. The 4th spot connected the upcoming formation was auctioned disconnected for $28 million.

RELATED: You tin present bargain a spot connected a Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin rocket

Nineteen abstraction advocacy and acquisition groups are getting $1 cardinal each arsenic a result, with the remainder to beryllium utilized by Blue Origin's Club for the Future for its ain acquisition effort.

While the diminutive New Shepard is meant to motorboat radical connected little flights to the borderline of space, the mega New Glenn volition beryllium susceptible of hauling cargo and yet unit into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida, perchance opening precocious adjacent year. Blue Origin besides has its eyes connected the moon. Its projected lunar lander, Blue Moon, mislaid to SpaceX's Starship successful NASA's caller commercialized contention to make the exertion for getting the adjacent astronauts onto the moon.

Blue Origin is challenging the declaration award, arsenic is , the different competitor.


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