Jeff Bezos, the richest man on Earth, will be one of the first civilians to join a crewed flight into space aboard the New Shepard, a rocket ship made by his Blue Origin space-focused company.
The blast off is planned for July 20, just over two weeks after Bezos steps down as CEO of Amazon, a company that made the multibillionaire even richer over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bezos announced on Instagram on Monday that he will be on the spacecraft and that his younger brother, Mark Bezos, will also be aboard.
“To see the Earth from space it changes you,” Bezos said in the video. “It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth.”
“I wanted to go on this flight because it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” Bezos said. “It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me. I invited my brother to come on this first trip because we’re closest friends.”
“When he asked me to go along I was just awestruck,” Mark Bezos said in the video. “What a remarkable opportunity not only to have this adventure but to do be able to do it with with my best friend.
Money earned from the auction will be donated to Club for the Future, a youth-focused foundation aimed at inspiring children to study science and technology.
CNN reported on the rocket ship trip:
Blue Origin’s flight crewed flight will see the company’s six-seater capsule and 59-foot rocket tear toward the edge of space on a 11-minute flight that’ll reach more than 60 miles above Earth.
After six years of extensive and often secretive testing of the rocket and capsule, called New Shepard, Blue Origin announced in May that it was preparing to put the first passengers in a New Shepard capsule.
In addition to New Shepard, Blue Origin is also working to develop a towering rocket called New Glenn, which the company hopes will be used to send US government and commercial satellites to orbit, as well as potentially make trips to deep space. Blue Origin also hoped to be involved in NASA’s plan to return humans to the moon by 2024, though it was bested by SpaceX for a contract to build the lunar lander that would shuttle astronauts from the moon’s orbit down to the surface.
“Blue Origin is protesting that contract decision, though NASA has also said that Blue Origin is still eligible to bid to work on future lunar missions,” CNN reported.
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