Blue Origin Explainer: How Jeff Bezos Soars into Space

Cape Canaveral, Florida-The first time Blue Origin launches people into space, founder Jeff Bezos will board. There are no test pilots or flight engineers for their debut flight from western Texas on Tuesday. Only Bezos, his brother, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer, and a teenage tourist.

Unlike capsules, capsules are fully automated Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Rocket Airplane It took two pilots to bring him back into space a week ago.

Branson’s advice? “Just sit, relax, look out the window and absorb the scenery outside,” he said at CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Aside from the differences between quirks and rockets, millionaire rivals are preparing to launch almost anyone who is willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for short top and bottom space hops.

A brief look at Bezos and what is waiting for his passengers:

Bezos onboard

Bezos created Blue Origin in 2000. He told his high school girlfriend, “Jeff started Amazon just to make enough money to do Blue Origin. I can’t prove her mistake.”

He said he is funding rocket companies by selling $ 1 billion in Amazon stock annually. Bezos caught a space bug at the age of five, watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin land on the moon on July 20, 1969.

He chose the 52nd anniversary for his launch.

Fascinated by the history of space, Bezos named the New Shepard rocket after Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and New is still under development after John Glenn, the first American in orbit. I named Glenn Rocket.

Bezos, 57, who also owns the Washington Post, resigned as CEO of Amazon earlier this month and donated $ 200 million to the Smithsonian Castle last week to renovate the National Air and Space Museum and set up an education center.

“To see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with humanity on this planet,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

Who else is flying

Bezos personally invited two of his fellow passengers-his 50-year-old brother Mark, an investor and volunteer firefighter, and female aviation pioneer Wally Funk. Joining them is Oliver Daemen, a last-minute entry for the $ 28 million charity auction winner who had a schedule conflict. At the age of 82, Funk becomes the oldest person in the universe. She was one of 13 female pilots (so-called Mercury 13) who took the same test as NASA’s Mercury 7 astronaut in the early 1960s, but was banned because of her gender.

More: An 82-year-old woman trained for NASA goes to space with Jeff Bezos

“Finally!” Funk shouted when he was offered a seat alongside Bezos.Is Dutch gate -The youngest in the universe at the age of 18-His Financier’s father bid for a capsule sheet in June, but dropped out due to soaring prices.

Blue Origin called about a week ago after the unidentified auction winner switched to a later flight. A teenage space fanatic who will start college this fall is Blue Origin’s first paying customer. Nothing is said about the price of his ticket.

Rocket and capsule

Bezos is not the first boss to board space with his own rocket, but it can be claimed that he is tied up for the first human launch of his company. He also has a higher goal with an expected altitude of about 66 miles (106 kilometers) compared to Branson’s 53.5 miles (86 kilometers).

Blue Origin’s 60-foot (18-meter) New Shepard rocket accelerates into space at Mach 3, which is three times the speed of sound, before leaving the capsule and returning to an upright landing.

Passengers experience weightlessness for 3-4 minutes just 10 minutes after takeoff and before the capsule parachutes into the desert. This is five minutes shorter than Alan Shepard’s 1961 Mercury flight. Blue Origin, however, offers the largest window ever built for a spacecraft.

Bezos purchased desolate, dry land for rocket launch and landing. The nearest town is Van Horn, with a population of 1,832.

Tracking record

Since 2015, Blue Origin has completed 15 test flights into space, conducting experiments, children’s postcards, and mannequin skywalkers to replace its passengers. All demos were successful, except for the booster crash landing on the first trip. One rocket will fly 7 times and 5 more times. The capsules have also been recycled.

Blue Origin intentionally stopped several flights after takeoff to test the capsule’s emergency escape system. The pace seems to be slower than its competitors, and many wonder why Blue Origin (its motto Gradatim Ferociter, or gradual ferocious) is taking so long to get people up and running. I did.

Based in Kent, Washington, the company was quite pondering its launch plans. Bezos has finally announced that it’s time, following the final test flight in April. During the dress rehearsal, simulated passengers boarded for a short time before takeoff. The rocket and capsule used on Tuesday have flown twice in the past.

What’s next

Blue Origin plans to start selling tickets shortly after Bezos flies and is already in line with some of the other auction bidders. The company has not disclosed the cost of the ride. The fourth seat on the next flight was auctioned for $ 28 million.

Related: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Rocket seats are now available for purchase

As a result, 19 space advocacy groups and educational groups have each earned $ 1 million, the rest being used by Blue Origin’s Club for the Future for their own educational activities.

The small New Shepard aims to launch people in a short flight to the edge of space, but Mega New Glenn will probably carry cargo from Cape Canaveral, Florida, from late next year, and eventually the crew. Can get on track. Blue Origin is also looking to the moon. Its proposed lunar module, the Blue Moon, lost to SpaceX’s starship in NASA’s recent commercial competition to develop technology for the next astronaut to ride on the moon.

Blue Origin, like other competitors, disagrees with the awarding of contracts.


The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.
The above media player video was used in a previous report.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Blue Origin Explainer: How Jeff Bezos Soars into Space

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