Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to fly into space today, Tuesday, including reaching the internationally accepted limit to space at 100 kilometers high. With this, the richest man in the world in the race of billionaires surpassed Britain’s Richard Branson, who just a few days ago flew 86 kilometers high with the VSS Unity. The first manned launch of Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is now scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. CEST, with a dedicated livestream starting at 1:30 p.m. Bezos will be accompanied on the flight by his brother Mark, 82-year-old U.S. pilot Wally Funk and 18-year-old Dutchman Oliver Daemen.
First manned flight of Blue Origin
For Blue Origin, the upcoming flight is the first launch with humans on board after nearly two dozen tests. The private space company relies on flights just above the internationally defined limits of space. In specially designed space capsules, passengers are launched by rockets above the so-called Karman Line, where they experience weightlessness for a few minutes. Meanwhile, they can look down on the spherical shape of the Earth from large windows. The capsule then sinks back to earth on a parachute. There is room for six people in the space capsule, a crew is not planned.
While the spacecraft of the British billionaire Richard Branson had been launched several times with a crew before its first flight, Bezos did not miss the opportunity to be on board for the premiere. This flight is the start of Blue Origin’s space tourism business, with two more to follow this year, reports Ars Technica. Already in the coming year there will be about a dozen of them. For a long time, it was said that a ticket for such a flight would cost at least $200,000.000 US dollars, but after the immense interest in the fourth free seat next to Bezos, observers ame that at least one million US dollars will be paid for the seats on the first flights.
On his first space flight, Jeff Bezos will be accompanied not only by his brother Mark, but also by an 82-year-old pilot named Wally Funk. As a participant in a space flight known as "Mercury 13" 60 years ago, she had passed all the physiological and psychological tests that the male astronauts had also passed. Because only men were sent into space for the USA at that time, she never flew into space. Only now is her dream coming true. The fourth seat was auctioned for 28 million US dollars, but the anonymous person cannot attend because of scheduling problems. The seat is taken by Oliver Daemen, whose father had bid for him at the auction. This means that both the oldest and the youngest person ever to reach space will now be on the flight.