Washington, June 8: Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on Monday said he will fly to the edge of space along with brother onboard his company Blue Origin‘s tourism rocket — New Shepard — on July 20.
In a video uploaded on his Instagram profile, Bezos is heard saying that he and his brother Mark will be launching into space on July 20 aboard a rocket built by his space company Blue Origin, the Verge reported.
While Blue Origin had, last month, announced to fly its first astronaut crew to space, it did not say that Bezos himself would be taking part.
Bezos further said that taking a journey into space has been a lifelong dream for him, and that it will be “meaningful” to have his brother along for the ride.
“You see the earth from space and it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth,” he said.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me,” he added.
The five-storey-tall New Shepard rocket is designed to launch a crew capsule with seats for six roughly 340,000 feet into the sky toward the edge of space. Paying tourists can experience a few minutes of weightlessness in microgravity and witness super high-altitude views of Earth.
The booster is topped by a gumdrop-shaped Crew Capsule with space for six passengers inside and large windows.
After reaching the Karman line, the internationally recognised boundary of Earth’s outermost atmosphere, which is 100 kilometres above sea level, the capsule will detach from the booster, allowing those inside to view the curvature of the earth and experience weightlessness.
The booster and capsule will then land separately, with the capsule landing in the west Texas desert with the help of parachutes.
In addition to Jeff and Mark Bezos, one seat on the flight will be claimed by the winning bidder of an ongoing online auction. The auction ends on June 12 and currently has a high bid of $2,800,000, the report said.
New Shepard has flown 15 successful consecutive missions to space and back above the Karman Line through a meticulous and incremental flight programme to test its multiple redundant safety systems.
Bezos’ rival Elon Musk is also expected to launch one of his crewed SpaceX Dragonships later this year.