The richest man on this planet is keen on getting out of this planet, even if it’s going to be for a few minutes. The founder of e-commerce titan Amazon and rocket manufacturer Blue Origin is preparing to power himself into space in his own company’s suborbital rocket, alongside his brother, an 82-year old female veteran pilot, and a recent high school graduate.
As reported by Space.com, Bezos, who founded Blue Origin in 2000 with the goal of using some of his Amazon fortune to develop rocket technology for a variety of business purposes, will take his extraterrestrial journey just nine days after fellow billionaire and rocket company founder Richard Branson took his own trip.
However, the technology that will be taking Bezos beyond Earth is notably different from what Branson used. New Shepard, the suborbital rocket that will be carrying the world’s richest individual, will take off vertically from a launch pad, which provides a shorter yet ultimately faster experience than Branson’s Virgin Galactic spacecraft.
New Shepard has flown 15 automated test flights with no people on board, and Bezos announced in early June that he intended to be on the first-ever crewed flight, which is slated for July 20.
If you are keen, you can watch the whole thing on Blue Origin’s livestream here.
Though the New Shepard capsule can carry up to six people, Bezos is bringing just three others along on this inaugural journey. They include his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year old pilot Wally Funk, and an 18-year old recent high school graduate named Oliver Daemen.
The mission was supposed to include an anonymous person who won a recent Blue Origin auction by agreeing to cough up $28 million for a seat on the prestigious flight. However, the person has since backed out because of “scheduling conflicts”, and their place is being taken by Joes Daemen, father of the young Oliver Daemen.
The spaceflight in itself is going to be a short-lived affair, as the capsule will be entering suborbital space and then returning to the planet in about 11 minutes.