The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos is all set to ride his own rocket to space on Tuesday. On this space mission, he will be accompanied by his younger brother Mark, an 82 year old aviation pioneer, Wally Funk and a teenage tourist, Dutchman Oliver Daemen
Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin capsule is fully automated, unlike Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket that required two pilots to get him to space on July 11 this year.
57 year old Bezos appeared on CBS, ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ where he said that the fellow travellers to “sit back, relax, look out of the window, just absorb the view outside.”
The Blue Origin space mission is another step planned by the billionaire to open the space frontier for tourists. Although the commercial operations are scheduled to begin from 2022, Bezos and Branson want to be the leaders in the field.
Bezos founded the Blue Origin company in 2000 with the goal of building floating space colonies with artificial gravity where millions of people could live and work.
At present, the space company is developing a heavy-lift orbital rocket called New Glenn and also a Moon lander and is hoping to contract with NASA.
Blue Origin’s 60-foot (18-metre) New Shepard will careen toward space at three times the speed of sound, or Mach 3, before the capsule separates from its booster and returning for an upright landing.
The rocket will cross the Karman Line, which is 100 kilometres above, from where the limit of the space starts. This line is set by an international aeronautics body, defining the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.
The spacecraft, allows the crew members to admire the curvature of the planet, and the inky black of the rest of the universe.
Ten minutes after the lift-off, the passengers will experience three to four minutes of weightlessness, before their capsule falls onto the desert.
Director of astronaut sales at Blue Origin, Ariane Cornell, said that the crew members will “experience the flight of a lifetime”.
According to the company, Blue Origin’s training programme includes safety briefings, simulation of the spaceflight, a review of the rocket and its operations, instructions on how to float around the craft’s cabin after the capsule sheds Earth’s gravity.