After much speculation, it is finally confirmed. Blue Origin's CEO, Jeff Bezos, will join the New Shepard's mission to space on July 20. The billionaire entrepreneur is definitely leaving Amazon in style.
Bezos will be joined by the winner of an online auction and his brother, Mark Bezos. The Amazon founder has referred to the upcoming trip as “The greatest adventure, with my best friend." Mark Bezos is the head of HighPost Capital and has been a volunteer firefighter in New York for over ten years.
In the era of visionary billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, it was only a matter of time before we saw the first tech tycoon boarding a rocket ship. Virgin Galactic owner Richard Branson has also said he will join one of his company's space missions later this year. But Bezos will beat them all to it, including Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who plans to hop on Russia's Soyuz MS-20 in December.
The crew on board the New Shepard will enjoy an 11-minute flight and spectacular views of the Earth's surface from a 60-mile distance. Named after Alan Shepard, the first U.S. astronaut, the rocket has performed stellarly on test flights.
New Shepard Features
- BE3 Fuel: liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen
- Crew capsule capacity: six passengers/530 cubic feet
- Fully controlled by internal computers
- Fully reusable spacecraft
- Launch escape system
- Propulsion module: Powered by Blue Origin BE-3 engine
- Vertical soft landing
- Vertical takeoff and landing (VTVL)
As of June 7th, the highest bid on a seat beside Bezos on the New Shepard is $3.2 million.
"I've been studying it and thinking about it since I was a five-year-old boy,” Bezos said in an interview, “but that is not why I'm pursuing this work. I'm pursuing this work because I believe if we don't, we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which I find very demoralizing."