Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will etch his name in the records of history on Tuesday as he and a crew of three, including his younger brother, are set to blast off into space aboard the New Shepard private space capsule.
According to the Washington Examiner, Bezos, also the founder of rocket company Blue Origin, announced that his brother Mark Bezos, 53, female aviation pioneer Wally Funk, 82, and Oliver Daemen, 18, will join him on the historic flight, in what is hopefully a safe and successful mission into space on Tuesday morning.
Notably, the commercial spaceflight mission will take place “52 years to the day after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon,” the Examiner noted.
Bezos excited about “change”
During a recent CNN interview regarding his mission, Bezos recalled the stories of astronauts who claim that traveling beyond the atmospheric borders of Earth “change” them in unexplainable ways, adding that he’s excited to see how he changes as a result.
“Everybody who has been to space, every astronaut comes back and they say that it changed them somehow,” Bezos said.
He added: “So I don’t know how it’s going to change me, but I know it’s going to, and I’m excited to find out how.”
The billionaire, soon-to-be civilian space traveler also expressed his excitement about the future, adding that the “practice” from early flights, such as the one scheduled for Tuesday, will mean “that we get really good at operational space travel.”
“If we can do that, then we’ll be building a road to space for the next generations to do amazing things there,” Bezos said.
The real deal
Unlike his fellow billionaire peer, Richard Branson, who just completed a space flight by being taken in a specialized craft via a large airplane to the edge of space, Bezos and his crew will be boosted via rocket to 62 miles — or roughly 327,000 feet — high, crossing what’s known as the Karman Line, where the crew will experience some of the zero-gravity effects.
As the rocket carrying the New Shepard vehicle and her crew reaches space, it will detach from the rocket body, leaving mission control specialists on the ground with a close watch on the autonomous capsule’s parachute-guided return to Earth.
A number of records will be set, including Funk becoming the oldest person to travel to space, while 18-year-old Daemen will become the youngest person to do the same.
Bezos’ trip has been carefully planned and though-out for years, and he emphasized that when asked about the safety concerns of the trip, saying only, “We’re ready.”