, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are ‘ready’ to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are ‘ready’ to launch into space tomorrow

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Monday morning that he was ‘ready’ for his flight to space as he appeared in a series of interviews with his Blue Origin teammates, 24 hours before liftoff.  

Bezos will fly up to 66 miles above the surface of the Earth on the fully autonomous rocket and capsule, sending him 13 miles higher than billionaire rival Sir Richard Branson who flew to space on Sunday, July 11.

He will be joined by his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk – who will be the oldest person to go to space – and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, whose private equity boss father paid for his flight after an anonymous bidder who’d spent $28million on a seat had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. 

Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon CEO last month, and his teammates appeared in their astronaut uniforms at ‘Launch Site One’ in Van Horn, Texas, for a string of interviews where he said they were not afraid of the mission that would set a precedent for ‘commercial air travel’.

‘We’ll be building a road to space for the next generation to do amazing things and those amazing things will improve things here on earth.

‘I could have done this flight as CEO of Amazon and it would have been fine. We really believe this flight is safe. I did have friends say, “why not wait for the second or third flight, why do you have to go now?” 

‘But we know the vehicle is safe and if it’s not safe for me then it’s not safe for anyone. But we’ve taken this one step at a time, our mascot is the tortoise… we are ready.’ 

It will be the first human flight launched by space company, Blue Origin, and will take off tomorrow, July 20, from ‘Launch Site One’ in Van Horn, Texas, with a live stream of the event starting at 12:30 BST.

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are ‘ready’ to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are ‘ready’ to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said on Monday morning that he was ‘ready’ for his flight to space as he appeared in a series of interviews with his Blue Origin teammates, 24 hours before liftoff. He was joined by his brother Mark, 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk – who will be the oldest person to go to space – and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, whose private equity boss father paid for his flight after an anonymous bidder who’d spent $25million on a seat had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict.

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are ‘ready’ to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are ‘ready’ to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

The team will fly aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket on Tuesday at 9am EST, 2pm GMT. They will float in zero gravity space for 10 minutes before returning to earth 

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To prepare for the historic launch, on the 52nd anniversary of the first moon landing, they had to test every aspect of the rocket ‘far beyond operational testing’ to ensure it is both robust and safe.

All four of the crew to travel aboard New Shepherd are at Launch Site One ready for the trip, with Bezos warmly welcoming Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen to the facility in a video uploaded to his Instagram account.

The rocket has been successfully flown 15 times, but this will be the first with humans on board. It will launch from Texas at about 14:00 BST.

There won’t be anywhere nearby to watch the launch in person, but Bezos said they will stream the 10 minute trip, including four minutes of zero gravity, on the Blue Origin website.

New Shepard will fire its engines to get off the launch pad and get the capsule up to the edge of space. They will experience forced three times normal levels which will pin them to their seats.

It will take three minutes to get high enough for the rocket booster to fall away, leaving the capsule to arc above the Earth and put them in a weightless environment. 

That will give them three to four minutes to float about the cabin and enjoy the curving Earth through the large windows, before they have to get back into their seats as gravity pulls them back down to the Earth. 

Parachutes will slow their plunge, taking it to a gentle landing int he Texas desert where a recovery crew will collect them. 

Bezos – who has an estimated personal worth of $186.2 billion (£131.5 billion) – is one of a number of billionaire entrepreneurs fuelling what has been dubbed the ‘new space race’, with each pumping billions of dollars into their respective start-ups with the aim of creating cheap, commercialised space travel. 

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Jeff Bezos (left) welcomes auction runner-up Oliver Daemen (centre) to Launch Centre One in Texas ahead of the trip

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Wally Funk (left) takes a hat from Jeff Bezos (centre) as they prepare for the first crewed Blue Origin flight on July 20

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

The crew of four will fly above 80 miles to pass the Karman line abord the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket from Texas

He founded Blue Origin in September 2000 and is currently funding the company to the tune of about $1 billion per year through the sale of his shares in Amazon.

His launch into space is the culmination of more than two decades of work for Bezos, that will see him blast into space on the first crewed flight of his New Shepard rocket ship.

Blue Origin named the New Shepard program after astronaut Alan Shepard, who was the first American to fly into space 60 years ago. 

The flight will mark a huge milestone in the mission to send paying customers to the edge of space, and continue a rapid expansion of the space tourism industry. 

‘Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,’ Bezos posted to his Instagram account, adding that he want to go on the flight because ‘it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.’ 

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

The two Bezos brothers – seen here in a video posted to Jeff’s Instagram – will be part of a crew of six on New Shepard 

His brother added: ‘I wasn’t even expecting him to say that he was going on the first flight.

‘And then when he asked me to go along, I was just awestruck. What a remarkable opportunity, not only to have this adventure, but to be able to do it with my best friend.’ 

He will be joined in the automated Blue Origin capsule by two others, in addition to his brother, Wally Funk and student Oliver Daemen.

Daemen is an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, and will become the youngest astronaut ever and the first paying space tourist on a US commercial space flight. 

While Richard Branson won the race to be the first billionaire space firm founder in space, Blue Origin are taking up the first paying passenger in Daemen, whose father made the second highest bid in a ticket auction. 

Oliver took the seat on the July 20 flight after the anonymous winning bidder decided to fly on a future New Shepard mission instead, due to undisclosed scheduling conflicts, Blue Origin said.

‘I am super excited to go to space,’ Oliver said in a video message. ‘I’ve been dreaming about this all my life and I will become the youngest astronaut ever because I’m 18 years old. I am super excited to experience zero G.’  

The auction gift has allowed Club for the Future to donate $1 million each to 19 non-profit organizations, which are all supporting living and working in space. 

The other passenger on the flight will be aviation pioneer Mary Wallace ‘Wally’ Funk, one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13 mission.  

At the age of 82, Funk will become the oldest person to launch into space and surpass former Senator John Glenn who took a space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77. 

Mercury 13, or the First Lady Astronaut Trainees, were a group of 13 women pilots who were qualified to go to space, but were excluded due to their gender.

While in training, Funk scored higher than Glenn – who was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts chosen to fly on Project Mercury in the 1960s – on some astronaut testing. 

In a video for Blue Origin, Funk recalled: ‘They told me that I had done better and completed the work faster than any of the guys.

So I got ahold of NASA, four times. I said I want to become an astronaut, but nobody would take me. I didn’t think that I would ever get to go up.’

She said people told her ‘Wally, you’re a girl, you can’t do that. I said guess what, doesn’t matter what you are, you can still do it if you want to do it.’  

Sir Richard Branson’s message to ‘the next generation of dreamers’

I have dreamt about this moment since I was a child, but nothing could have prepared me for the view of Earth from space. It was magical.

I was honoured to test the incredible customer experience onboard Virgin Galactic’s spaceship VSS Unity as part of this remarkable crew of mission specialists – and now astronauts.

How you feel when you look down on Earth is impossible to put into words, it’s just indescribable beauty. I can’t wait for you all to get up there.   

My mission statement, which I wrote inside my spacesuit, is to turn the dream of space travel into a reality – for my grandchildren, for your grandchildren, for everyone. 

I said a message to all children while I was in space: I was once a child with a dream looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship looking down to our beautiful Earth. To the next generation of dreamers: if we can do this, just imagine what you can do.

Having flown to space, I can see even more clearly how Virgin Galactic is the spaceline for Earth. 

We are here to make space more accessible to all and turn the next generation of dreamers into the astronauts of today and tomorrow.

Imagine a world where people of all ages and backgrounds, from anywhere, of any gender, of any ethnicity have equal access to space. They will in turn, inspire us all back here on Earth.

If you’ve ever had a dream, now is the time to make it come true. Welcome to the dawn of a new space age. 

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The launch site for Blue Origin’s first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, where the firm has launched New Shepard for previous flights. 

The July 20 launch – which coincides with the anniversary of the moon landing – will be the first test of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket with people on board, kicking off the company’s space tourism business.  

On Monday, Blue Origin received approval Monday from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space on July 20.

New Shepard, which stands 60 feet tall, was specifically designed for Blue Origin’s space tourism venture and has successfully completed 15 test launches, with the latest on April 14.

The capsule that rides atop New Shepard seats six passengers and is equipped with reclining seats.

Each of the seats has a window that are said to the ‘the largest to fly into space.’

Cameras line the interior, allowing travelers to share their memories that are truly out of this world.

The crew is set to travel 62 miles above Earth’s surface, where they will experience weightlessness due to the zero gravity and see the curve of the planet with the darkness of space as the backdrop.

It is not clear how long they will spend just beyond the edge of space, but Blue Origin has stated in the past that paying customers will spend as much as 10 minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth.  

The billionaire space race is fueled by optimism that space travel will become mainstream as nascent technology is proven and costs fall, fueling what UBS estimates could be a $3 billion annual tourism market by 2030.

Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, as well as Musk’s SpaceX, have also discussed using their rockets to link far-flung global cities.

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

UBS says that long-haul travel market could be worth more than $20 billion, though several barriers such as air-safety certification could derail the plans.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said: ‘Putting the world’s richest man and one of the most recognized figures in business into space is a massive advertisement for space as a domain for exploration, industrialization and investment.’

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

 ‘On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend,’ said Bezos

HOW JEFF BEZOS IS SPENDING BILLIONS OF HIS OWN MONEY TO BUILD BLUE ORIGIN AND WIN THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE

Amazon founder and outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos entered the space sector in 2000, two years before SpaceX was formed by Elon Musk.

Based in Kent, Washington, it originally focused on sub-orbital spaceflight services, building cheaper, more reliable and reusable launch vehicles.

They are gradually moving from suborbital to orbital flight in an incremental way and will launch humans to space on July 20. 

Bezos will be on that first crewed flight along with his brother Mark, the winner of the auction, and three members of Blue Origin staff. 

The firm currently has two launch vehicles, the suborbital New Shepherd, named for the first American in space, Alan Shepherd, and New Glenn, named for John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. 

Bezos has announced they are also working on New Armstrong, after the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, although no details have been revealed. 

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The announcement from Bezos comes two months after Musk trolled him on Twitter, joking that he ‘can’t get it up (to orbit)’, after Blue Origin filed a protest against NASA for giving SpaceX a $2.89billion contract to build a lunar lander. 

The pair have also sparred publicly over their competing satellite plans. In January Musk again took aim at Bezos on Twitter, accusing the Amazon founder’s Project Kuiper of trying to ‘hamstring’ his Starlink venture.

SpaceX is due to launch the world’s first all-civilian space mission on September 15. Called Inspiration4, it will go further than either Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin by soaring into orbit around the Earth.

It will feature a four-person team, launched on a Crew Dragon spaceship atop a Falcon 9 rocket, under the command of billionaire CEO of Shift4 Payments Jared Isaacman.

The other three on-board will be Sian Proctor, a community college educator in Arizona, Chris Sembroski, a former Air Force missileman from Washington, and Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.  

Dubbed Inspiration4, its mission is designed primarily to raise awareness and support for the pediatric cancer centre, which successfully treated Arceneaux for bone cancer when she was a child.  

Virgin Galactic, meanwhile, is aiming for commercial operations aboard its VSS Unity spacecraft to begin next year, following testing and several months of downtime for maintenance and other upgrades.  

The company is expected to charge more than $250,000 for new reservations but has not announced final pricing. Bezos is expected to charge about $200,000 for a ticket with Blue Origin.

The two Bezos brothers will be part of a crew of six on New Shepard, along with the highest bidder from the public auction. The remaining places will be taken by Blue Origin staff. 

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Jared Isaacman, from left to right, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski form the Inspiration4 crew. Inspiration4, spearheaded by SpaceX, is the world’s first all-civilian mission to space

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Pictured, Inspiration4 mission commander Jared Isaacman, founder and chief executive officer of Shift4 Payments 

BLUE ORIGIN NEW SHEPHERD CREW

The Blue Origin New Shepherd rocket and crew capsule will launch with crew on board for the first time on July 20 2021, the anniversary of the first Moon landing.

The craft is completely autonomous and will have four passengers on board. They are:

Jeff Bezos: Founder of Blue Origin and Amazon

Mark Bezos: Brother of Jeff Bezos

Wally Funk: Aeronautics pioneer and member of the Mercury 13

Oliver Daemon: Physics student, auction runner-up 

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According to the company’s website, the highest bid from the public for the exclusive spot is $28 million, although the winning bidder decided to delay and go on a later flight. 

Blue Origin touts itself as a means to provide cheaper access to space through the use of reusable rockets – specifically the New Shepard, which has already flown 15 times. 

This is similar to the mission of SpaceX, which has already moved on to orbital and larger format rockets and successfully launched astronauts to the space station. 

The Blue Origin New Shepherd rocket’s sole mission is to take tourists to space, who would travel inside a sleek, white capsule atop the vehicle.  

The capsule is designed with the iconic Blue Origin feather across the exterior and inside are six reclining seats that mirror those inside a helicopter.

Blue Origin’s grand plans are to send tourists who pay vast amounts of money 62 miles above Earth’s surface as they float in orbit.

At this altitude, passengers will experience weightlessness due to the zero gravity and see the curve of the planet with the darkness of space as the backdrop.

This is similar to the mission profile of Virgin Galactic, which, instead of launching its spaceship from the ground on a large rocket, flies up 44,000ft on a mothership, is released and then fires rockets to travel up to about 60 miles altitude.

Bezos has bigger ambitions for Blue Origin, with the New Glenn rocket currently scheduled for launch in 2022, it is a two stage launch vehicle enabling heavier lift launches to orbit and even reach the moon.

The firm are also working on New Armstrong, named after the first man to walk on the Moon, but haven’t unveiled any specific details about the rocket.

Speculation is that it will have a larger profile than New Glenn, able to carry more. 

Unlike Musk, whose very public goal is to make humanity a multi-planetary species with bases on Mars by 2050, Bezos is a supporter of larger space stations with artificial habitats, which could be one of the reasons for the rumoured development of the larger New Armstrong rocket.  

THE BILLIONAIRE SPACE RACE: HOW BRANSON, MUSK AND BEZOS ARE VYING FOR GALACTIC SUPREMACY

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Jeff Bezos in front of Blue Origin’s space capsule

Dubbed the ‘NewSpace’ set, Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk all say they were inspired by the first moon landing in 1969, when the US beat the Soviet Union in the space race, and there is no doubt how much it would mean to each of them to win the ‘new space race’.

Amazon founder Bezos had looked set to be the first of the three to fly to space, having announced plans to launch aboard his space company Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft on July 20. 

The billionaire mogul will travel with his younger brother Mark, a charity auction winner who’s shelling out $28 million and pioneering female astronaut Wally Funk, 82.

However, Branson has now announced he’s planning to make a suborbital flight nine days before Bezos and his brother. He revealed on Twitter that he plans to be Astronaut 001 on Virgin Galactic’s July 11 test flight.

Although SpaceX and Tesla founder Musk has said he wants to go into space, and even ‘die on Mars’, he has not said when he might blast into orbit. 

SpaceX appears to be leading the way in the broader billionaire space race with numerous launches carrying NASA equipment to the ISS and partnerships to send tourists to space by 2021.  

On February 6 2018, SpaceX sent rocket towards the orbit of Mars, 140 million miles away, with Musk’s own red Tesla roadster attached. 

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Elon Musk with his Dragon Crew capsule

NASA has already selected two astronauts who will be on-board the first manned Dragon mission. 

SpaceX has also started sending batches of 60 satellites into space to help form its Starlink network. 

Musk hopes this will provide an interconnected web of satellites around Earth which will beam down free internet to people worldwide.  

Branson and Virgin Galactic are taking a different approach to conquering space. It has repeatedly, and successfully, conducted test flights of the Virgin Galactic’s Unity space plane. 

The first took place in December 2018 and the latest on May 22, with the flight accelerating to more than 2,000 miles per hour (Mach 2.7). 

More than 600 affluent customers to date, including celebrities Brad Pitt and Katy Perry, have reserved a $250,000 (£200,000) seat on one of Virgin’s space trips. 

Branson has previously said he expects Elon Musk to win the race to Mars with his private rocket firm SpaceX. 

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

, Jeff Bezos says he and Blue Origin teammates are &#8216;ready&#8217; to launch into space tomorrow, The Nzuchi Times

Richard Branson with the Virgin Galactic craft

SpaceShipTwo can carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

It climbs to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier craft, White Knight II, once it has passed the 50-mile mark.

Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere.

The spaceship will then make a suborbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 1.5 hours.

Bezos revealed in April 2017 that he finances Blue Origin with around $1 billion (£720 million) of Amazon stock each year.

The system consists of a pressurised crew capsule atop a reusable ‘New Shepard’ booster rocket.   

Bezos is one of the richest men in the world and Blue Origin has successfully flown the New Shepard rocket 15 times.

At its peak, the capsule reached 65 miles (104 kilometres), just above the official threshold for space and landed vertically seven minutes after liftoff.  

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