Jeff Bezos is going to space on first crewed flight of rocket
Blue Origin, the rocket company, which belongs to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, organized an online auction on June 12 to sell the possibility to fly on its New Shepard rocket. Guess how much it costs? Nothing less than $2.8 million.
Jeff Bezos, who is 57 years old and the most affluent person on the planet with a net worth of $187 billion, will take part in this flight, which is planned for July 20, the anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on Moon in 1969. By the way, on July 5 Bezos is resigning as CEO of Amazon, though not leaving it. He will be succeeded in his post by Andy Jassy, one of the top managers of Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ brother, Mark Bezos, who is currently a senior vice president of Robin Hood, a charity in New York, will also fly on the rocket.
On his Instagram page, Bezos told it was going to be an adventure of a lifetime, and together with his best friend, brother. Since his early childhood, he has been dreaming of space journeys. Dreams do come true!
New Shepard is an autonomous suborbital rocket built to take passengers joyriding to space. The rocket is reusable, the idea behind it makes space journeys less expensive, and more people might afford them. New Shepard’s capsule has a capacity of six people onboard and has no pilots.
Jeff Bezos is going to become the first billionaire to travel to space. The British billionaire Richard Branson, who owns Virgin Galactic space company, Blue Origin’s rival, also wishes to be among the first passengers of his rocket-powered plane, but it is scheduled for later time this year.
The New Shepard rocket was subject to numerous test flights. Still, one can’t call the flight absolutely safe. For instance, one of Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spaceplanes had an accident in 2014 and one of the pilots died. However, Blue Origin has never had malfunctions.
So how is this flight going to look like? When people think about space travel, usually an image of cosmonauts floating in the spacecraft springs to their minds, and this travel is due to last for quite a long time. The future journey of Bezos and the team is going to be completely different. They will rise up and then come back right away, and it will last only for eleven minutes! Those images which we have in mind thinking of space travels refer to orbital flights. And Bezos is going on a suborbital flight. Such journeys are going to be brief, though the height is quite big – 62 miles above our planet. That’s where actually space begins – the so-called Karman Line.
This kind of space flight needs less velocity and power, they are subject to less compression and are less hazardous on the whole.
New Shepard’s speed is about 2,300 miles per hour. The rocket rises till it uses almost all the fuel, and then the crew capsule detaches and goes on rising, hovering in the farthest point while the crew is enjoying several moments of weightlessness. After the capsule comes back, the parachutes slow it down to the velocity of 20 miles per hour. The rocket lands on its own, employing the onboard computers.
Except for New Shepard, Blue Origin is also developing a towering rocket New Glenn, aimed to send satellites to orbit and make deep space journeys.
Blue Origin is regarded by Bezos as the most significant work he’s doing. He’s passionate about space, moreover, he believes abandoning work in this sphere means humanity will remain in stasis.