One small step for a billionaire, one giant leap for outrageously wealthy space tourists: Jeff Bezos has got the OK for his onanistic flight to space.
Bezo’s rocket company, Blue Origin, has got the rubber stamp from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take humans to space — and the Amazon founder has bagged a seat on the first trip.
With outstanding generosity, Bezos is even letting us mere Earth-dwellers watch his trip from home, while we wait for permission to travel freely across Earth. You can follow the live coverage at BlueOrigin.com from 6:30AM CDT / 11:30 UTC on July 20. Liftoff is currently targeted for 8:00AM CDT / 13:00 UTC.
#NewShepard is go for launch on July 20 for #NSFirstHumanFlight. This is the 16th flight and first with astronauts on board. Watch live at https://t.co/7Y4TherpLr. Coverage starts at 6:30 am CDT / 11:30 UTC. pic.twitter.com/hYv68UlCqm
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 12, 2021
If all goes to plan, Bezos will claim the not-so-illustrious title of “second billionaire in space.” Space rival Richard Branson pipped the Amazon kingpin to the finishing line of the ego race on Sunday — although the brash Brit’s gold medal remains disputed.
Blue Origin suggested Branson will forever have an asterisk next to his name, as his flight didn’t surpass the “internationally recognized” Kármán line that defines the start of space at 100km above sea level. Branson did, however, pass NASA’s benchmark for conferring astronaut wings.
Either way, both the tycoons are only going sub-orbital. The crown of the first billionaire to reach orbit remains unclaimed — for now. Your move, Elon Musk.