scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Bezos and crewmates prepare for inaugural Blue Origin space flight

Joining them for Blue Origin's launch will be Bezos, the founder and current executive chairman here of Amazon.com Inc, and his brother Mark Bezos.

By: Reuters |
July 18, 2021 7:00:02 pm
Blue Origin, Jeff BezosThe training “will help you feel comfortable and prepared for spaceflight and your responsibilities as an astronaut,” Blue Origin said in material describing the sessions. (Image Source: Blue Origins)

Billionaire American businessman Jeff Bezos and his three crewmates are engaging in a crash course of training on Sunday in preparation for his company Blue Origin’s inaugural flight to the edge of space planned for Tuesday.

The suborbital launch from a site in the high desert plains of West Texas marks a crucial test for Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, a 60-foot-tall (18.3 meters) and fully autonomous rocket-and-capsule combo that is central to plans by Bezos to tap a potentially lucrative space tourism market.

The planned 11-minute trip from the company’s Launch Site One facility is set to include the oldest person ever to go to space – 82-year-old trailblazing female aviator Wally Funk – and the youngest – 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen here. Joining them for Blue Origin’s launch will be Bezos, the founder and current executive chairman here of Amazon.com Inc, and his brother Mark Bezos.

The mission here would represent the world’s first unpiloted flight to space with an all-civilian crew. Blue Origin will have none of its staff astronauts here or trained personnel onboard.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key-August 15, 2022: Why you should read ‘Khongjom war’ or ‘Vision I...Premium
C Raja Mohan writes: Diplomacy for Viksit BharatPremium
UPSC Essentials: Key terms of the past week with MCQsPremium
ExplainSpeaking | India at 75: 11 charts to understand how far India has ...Premium

New Shepard is due to launch nine days after rival Richard Branson’s space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, successfully carried out a suborbital flight here from New Mexico with the British billionaire inside its rocket plane.

Blue Origin’s training program, according to the company, includes safety briefings, a simulation of the spaceflight, a review of the rocket and its operations, and instruction on how to float around the craft’s cabin after the capsule sheds Earth’s gravity.

The training “will help you feel comfortable and prepared for spaceflight and your responsibilities as an astronaut,” Blue Origin said in material describing the sessions.

Advertisement

New Shepard, which cannot be piloted from inside the spacecraft, 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.

New Shepard, like Virgin Galactic’s flight, will not enter into orbit around Earth, but will take the crew some 62 miles up (100 km) before the capsule returns by parachute. Virgin Galactic’s flight reached 53 miles (86 km) above Earth.

Billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s space transportation company, SpaceX, is pledging to go even higher in September, sending an all-civilian crew for a several-day orbital flight aboard its Crew Dragon capsule.

Advertisement

Illustrating tensions in the high-stakes “billionaire space race,” Blue Origin has described Virgin Galactic as falling short of the 62-mile-high-mark (100 km) – called the Kármán line – set by an international aeronautics body as defining the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space.

The U.S. space agency NASA and the U.S. Air Force both define an astronaut as anyone who has flown higher than 50 miles (80 km), as Branson achieved with his flight.

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Technology News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
First published on: 18-07-2021 at 07:00:02 pm

Featured Stories

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement