Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and one of the richest people in the world is all set to fly to space with his brother Mark in July, 2021. The journey will be conducted via the first crewed space flight from his rocket company, Blue Origin.
The crewed flight has come two weeks after Bezos’ decision of resigning from the post of CEO of Amazon and planning to serve as executive chairman of the E-commerce giant.
Bezos has recently mentioned in one of his Instagram posts that he has been dreaming of travelling to space since the age of five and will finally be embarking on the journey on 20th July, 2021.
Accompanying Bezos and his brother will also be the highest bidder of the seat in the capsule that Blue Origin is currently auctioning. The auction is supposed to end on 12th June, 2021.
Blue Origin ended the first round of auction earlier in May with over 5200 bidders from 136 countries worldwide. The amount of the highest bid has not been disclosed though. According to Blue Origin’s website, the current highest bid stands at $2.8 million in the ongoing second round of auction.
Apart from Bezos, billionaires like Elon Musk and Richard Branson have also been investing in rockets but Bezos will be first one of them to travel in space in a rocket made by his own company.
Coming to the technical details of the rocket, the New Shephard rocket-and-capsule combination, named after Alan Shephard, the second human being and first US citizen to fly into space, is capable of autonomously flying 6 passengers at a height of more than 62 miles (100 kilo meters) Above earth into suborbital space. This height is enough to give the experience of being weightless for a few minutes and see the curvature of Earth before the pressurized capsule returns to the planet under parachutes.
This New Shephard booster is made capable to land vertically on the ground after returning to the planet.
The capsule is fitted with six windows that are approximately three times as tall as the windows of a Boeing 747 Jetliner, the largest to be ever used in outer space, as claimed by Blue Origin.
The flight on 20th July will set new benchmarks in the history of private commercial space travel. For the insurance part, covering liabilities regarding space travel are still not fully established. Life insurers neither ask about nor exclude space travel from their insurance cover.
The trip, being made possible by Blue origin will also attract some attention towards the company that has been relatively slower in the development of its space vehicles than its competitors like Elon Musk’s SpaceX that has been launching its Falcon 9 rockets on a regular basis for a long time including taking NASA cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station.
New Shephard hasn’t carried any passengers yet but has been paid to conduct science experiments for NASA.