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How and when to watch Jeff Bezos go to space

By MARCIA DUNN | AP Aerospace Writer

VAN HORN, Texas — Jeff Bezos is about to soar on his space travel company’s first flight with people on board.

The founder of Blue Origin as well as Amazon on Tuesday will become the second billionaire to ride his own rocket. He’ll launch from West Texas with his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old female aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever hurtle off the planet.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is set to blast off with its eclectic group of passengers on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Liftoff is set at 6 a.m. Pacific time.

Blue Origin is streaming the launch on YouTube:

Bezos is aiming for an altitude of roughly 66 miles, more than 10 miles higher than Richard Branson’s ride on July 11.

The capsule is fully automated, so there’s no need for trained staff on the quick up-and-down flight, expected to last just 10 minutes. Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket plane needs two pilots to operate.

Bezos’ dream-come-true trip follows 15 successful test flights to space by New Shepard rockets since 2015, all of them unoccupied. If successful, Blue Origin plans two more passenger flights by year’s end.

FILE – This undated image provided by Blue Origin shows an illustration of the capsule that will be used to take tourists into space. Blue Origin announced Thursday, July 15, 2021, that instead of an auction winner launching with founder Jeff Bezos on Tuesday, Oliver Daemen, 18, will be on board. The company said he’ll be the first paying customer, but did not disclose the cost of his ticket. (Blue Origin via AP)

The company has yet to open ticket sales to the public and is filling upcoming flights with those who took part in last month’s $28 million charity auction for the fourth capsule seat. The mystery winner bowed out of Tuesday’s launch because of a scheduling conflict. That opened up the slot for Oliver Daemen, a college-bound student from the Netherlands whose father was among the unsuccessful bidders.

Also flying: Bezos’ younger brother, Mark, and Wally Funk, one of 13 female pilots who went through the same testing back in the early 1960s as NASA’s Mercury astronauts, but failed to make the cut because they were women.

In this photo provided by Blue Origin, from left to right: Mark Bezos, brother of Jeff Bezos;Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin; Oliver Daemen, of the Netherlands;and Wally Funk, aviation pioneer from Texas, pose for a photo. (Blue Origin via AP)

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


Source: Orange County Register

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