Jeff Bezos plans to go into space next month as one of the first passengers carried by Blue Origin, Amazon.com INC.
founder’s space travel company.
Bezos said in an Instagram post on Monday he will be one of the inaugural travelers on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, during a flight scheduled for launch from West Texas on July 20. Bezos said his brother, Mark Bezos, will also be part of the crew.
“I want to take this flight because it’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” Bezos said in a video posted on Instagram. “It’s an adventure. It is something very important to me. ”
Bezos, who will step down as Amazon CEO on July 5 after leading the company for more than two decades, has invested heavily in Blue Origin, contributing roughly $ 1 billion over a few years. Bezos, already serving as Amazon‘s
President, he will take over as CEO after his deputy Andy Jassy becomes CEO.
Blue Origin has said that it aims to support widespread commercial activity in the space going forward. In addition to its space tourism efforts, Blue Origin is also working on rockets that could launch payloads for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The passenger list for Blue Origin’s July flight will also include the winner of a charity auction that will conclude this month. The auction has had nearly 6,000 participants and the highest bid is $ 2.8 million, Blue Origin said Monday.
The New Shepard capsule has space for six people and is fully autonomous. The spacecraft is designed to briefly rise above the Karman Line, an imaginary limit at about 62 miles above sea level that is considered the beginning of space, before returning to the ground under a parachute 10 minutes after launch.
Blue Origin’s efforts to commercialize spaceflight parallel those of SpaceX, the spaceflight company run by Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk. SpaceX became the first company to launch NASA astronauts into space last year.
The two companies competed to design a new capsule that could fly astronauts to the moon before NASA awarded the contract to SpaceX in April. Blue Origin has filed a petition challenging the award of the contract.
Billionaire Richard Branson has also invested in commercial space flights. Virgin Galactic Holdings INC.,
A company he founded that also plans to offer space tourism went public in a 2019 merger with a blank check company.
More WSJ coverage of commercial space travel, selected by editors.
Write to Matt Grossman at [email protected]
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