The Blue Origin space flight is finally happening! Jeff Bezos, together with four other passengers, will board the New Shepard rocket and capsule in an 11-minute flight to outer space.
The infamous "Space Race" to promote space tourism featuring Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX is getting intense! Although the promoters deny the "competition," these three companies advertise their flight services as the best public ride to outer space.
Virgin Galactic was the first to launch, successfully flying its crew of six last July 11. Bezos' Blue Origin is hot on their heels. The Blue Origin even tweeted an infographic highlighting its advantages.
From the beginning, New Shepard was designed to fly above the Kármán line so none of our astronauts have an asterisk next to their name. For 96% of the world’s population, space begins 100 km up at the internationally recognized Kármán line. pic.twitter.com/QRoufBIrUJ— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 9, 2021
Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Space Flight Mission Details
On Tuesday, July 20, Blue Origin will be having their space flight which they dubbed as "First Human Flight"--marking as the 16th flight for New Shepard but the first with astronauts riding aboard.
The New Shepard flight will last 11 minutes. The spacecraft will follow a parabolic flight pattern (image seen here), where the rocket launches its capsule to outer space. The capsule will then briefly hover over Earth's atmosphere, letting its passengers experience a "weightless phase" before slowly descending back via parachute flight.
Blue Origin Space Crew
Blue Origin and New Shepard is a fully automated space capsule system. This flight will carry four passengers and no pilot. Space reported that the crew will include:
Jeff Bezos: 57, founder of Blue Origin in 2000 and Amazon in 1994.
Mark Bezos: 53, younger brother of Jeff and former ad executive for the non-profit Robin Hood.
Wally Funk: 82, female aviator and member of Mercury 13. She is set to become the oldest person to fly in space.
Oliver Daemon: 18, a student at the University of Utrecht. He is set to become the youngest person to fly in space.
Space Flight Date and Launch Time
Important highlights for this event are listed by CNN Business. The New Shepard liftoff is scheduled to happen at 9 AM ET. However, different weather conditions can possibly delay this schedule. Regardless, flight protocols and procedures will remain the same.
Webcast and live streams start 90 minutes before the flight. Astronauts will leave the launchpad and board the spacecraft 30 minutes before the flight. The New Shepard capsule will close its hatch five minutes after the whole crew finished boarding.
The liftoff will be instantaneous. The spacecraft will leave Earth's atmosphere in three minutes. Reaching the top of its flight, astronauts get to experience another three minutes of "weightless" space. The capsule will begin its re-entry. Four minutes afterward, it will deploy its parachutes. New Shepard is expected to complete flight and descent in approximately 22 minutes.
A press conference with the flight crew will be open an hour after their disembarkment.
Where to Watch Jeff Bezos' Space Flight Online
Watch this historical moment online by bookmarking CBS News YouTube Channel. Below is the official link to the scheduled flight happening in the next few hours!
The New Shepard Space flight will also be livestreamed in the Blue Origin website. As of time of writing, the webpage displays "First Human Flight: Watch the launch beginning at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC. Liftoff targeted for 8:00 am CDT / 13:00 UTC." However, more updates will be provided the closer the scheduled flight gets.