How Jeff Bezos Will Launch Himself Into Space Next Month On His Blue Origin Rocket

Photo: REUTERS/Isaiah J. Downing
Jeff Bezos in the cockpit

Blue Origin, an aerospace company founded in 2000 by Amazon creator and billionaire, Jeff Bezos, announced that he would be going into space with his brother in the company’s New Shephard shuttle in July.

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When and how will Jeff Bezos launch himself into space

Named after the first American to enter space, the six-person capsule will go on an 11-minute flight that will hover just over the edge of space — 62 miles above the surface of Earth — before coming back down.

Blue Origin has so far only conducted a series of 15 uncrewed test flights of its New Shepard vehicle, but director of Vanderbilt University’s aerospace design lab, Amrutur Anilkumar, commends the company and its efforts when compared to SpaceX.

“Blue Origin, admirably, has gone about it carefully and has built a reliable and less ambitious vehicle and is likely to succeed,” he said. “It is noteworthy that Bezos feels comfortable taking his brother for a ride; that is probably the best exclamation for safety and reliability.”

Set to take flight just 15 days after Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon, he says that this is something he’s wanted to do his entire life.

"Ever since I was five years old, I've dreamed of traveling to space," Bezos said in a Monday morning Instagram post. "On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend."

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Not much is known about Blue Origin as they keep all their rockets and tests quiet, but this is the first time they’re going to send a crew into space. They're also auctioning off a seat from the trip that will go to a lucky bidder.

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and the future of space tourism

Blue Origin isn’t the only company that has its eyes set on space tourism. Virgin Galactic, another aerospace company funded by British billionaire Richard Branson, is planning on conducting flights to suborbital space for the ultra-wealthy in an attempt to get in on the burgeoning market and compete directly with Blue Origin.

Despite the competition, Branson actually reached out and congratulated Bezos on the achievement, remarking that “now both [companies] are opening up access to Space - how extraordinary!”

While Elon Musk has his sights set much farther (Mars), he hasn’t made any announcement with regard to entering space aboard one of his many SpaceX rockets, making Bezos the first in the privatized aerospace industry to actually enter space.

Bezos has called Blue Origin "the most important work I'm doing," so as he steps down from Amazon CEO and into the executive chairman role, he is likely to set his focus on the future of the aerospace company and continue looking to the horizon with space exploration and tourism.

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Why is Jeff Bezos going to space? 

In the same interview with Mathias Döpfner, the CEO of Axel Springer, Bezos said that "I've been studying it and thinking about it since I was a five year old boy — but that is not why I'm pursuing this work. I'm pursuing this work because I believe if we don't, we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which I find very demoralizing."

He believes that if we don’t expand our exploration and colonization of space, our civilization will plateau and cease all progression.

He also believes that once he returns from the trip, he’ll be a changed man, saying “To see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth,” Bezos said in an Instagram post. “I want to go on this 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.”

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Jeff Bezos believes that in the decades ahead, millions of people will be working and living in space, so it makes sense why he wants to get a head start on the space business.

What's Jeff Bezos going to do next?

That’s not all he wants to do, however. Bezos’s Blue Origin also builds rocket engines to sell to another rocket company, United Launch Alliance, which competed with SpaceX to be a part of the NASA mission to return to the moon, and also plans on building an orbital rocket called New Glenn that is supposed to launch commercial satellites into space.

While he hasn’t announced how expensive future space flight tickets would be, the seat that is being auctioned off is worth $3.5 million at the time of this writing, so the price is still pretty steep.

Despite the ultra-wealthy being the only people capable of space travel at the moment, this is a great step in the right direction.

With Musk planning on colonizing Mars, NASA planning on sending humans back to the moon, and wealthy billionaires capitalizing on space tourism, the future looks bright for actual progress in the final frontier.

When travelling to and from space, the moon, and Mars become more frequent, prices will go down and soon we’ll have Disney space shuttles to take us to the Treasure Planet amusement park.

In all seriousness though, this could be a great start in the advancement of human society, and is a truly remarkable achievement in technology.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and relationships.