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Jeff Bezos is taking the billionaire space race to the next level.
The world’s richest man will set off for the edge of space Tuesday morning on his company Blue Origin’s first commercial flight.
The all-civilian crew is expected to shoot up into the Earth’s atmosphere from a launch site in Texas — and go about 13 miles beyond where rival Richard Branson flew with his company Virgin Galactic last week.
Here’s what you need to know about Jeff Bezos’ trip to space:
When is Jeff Bezos going to space?
Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft is scheduled to blast off at 9 a.m. ET from a launch site in Van Horn, Texas, though weather or technical glitches could delay the launch.
Who’s joining him on ‘Blue Origin’?
The unlikely crew of soon-to-be astronauts include both the oldest and the youngest people ever to go to space.
At 82, trailblazing aviator Wally Funk would be the oldest, fulfilling a lifelong dream of going to space stymied by sexism in the 1960s.
The youngest is Dutch 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, a recent high school grad, whose dad reportedly bought him a ticket on the flight — after the anonymous winner of a $28 million auction for a seat dropped out.
Also along for the ride is Bezos’ younger brother Mark, a financier and longtime volunteer firefighter in Westchester County.
No test pilots or flight engineers will be onboard, as the New Shepard is fully-autonomous.
How long will the ‘Blue Origin’ crew be in space?
The trip is expected to last about 11 minutes.
If all goes to plan, the unpiloted rocket will zoom up at three times the speed of sound, reaching an altitude of about 66 miles above the Earth.
There, the capsule will separate, allowing the passengers to experience three to four minutes of weightlessness.
The capsule will then parachute down onto the Texas desert, while the rocket returns to the launch site for an upright landing.
How to watch Bezos and ‘Blue Origin’s launch live
The excursion will be livestreamed by Blue Origin starting at 7:30 a.m. ET.
A live press conference with the astronauts will be broadcast on BlueOrigin.com after the launch.
Why is it called ‘Blue Origin’?
The company’s name refers to Earth’s nickname — “the blue planet” — as being the point of origin for humankind.
“It’s called Blue Origin because this is the blue planet and this is the planet that we have to save,” Bezos explained in 2019. “This is the good planet in our solar system. We’ve sent robotic probes to all the planets now, this is the only good one.”
The New Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo, meanwhile, is named for Alan Shepard, who in 1961 became the first American in space during a suborbital flight as part of NASA’s pioneering Mercury program.
The date of the launch, July 20, also marks the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Didn’t Jeff Bezos already lose the billionaire space race?
Yes … technically.
While Branson became the first billionaire to get to space last week, Bezos is aiming higher — by about 13 miles.
Blue Origin is set to go beyond the 62-mile-high-mark — called the Kármán line — recognized internationally as the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.
Virgin Galactic’s flight, meanwhile, reached only 53.5 miles above Earth, though NASA and the US. Air Force both define an astronaut as anyone who has flown higher than 50 miles.
With Post wires
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