On Tuesday (July 20), Blue Origin will attempt the first ever crewed space flight as the company attempts to launch its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and a team of three to kickstart a space tourism program for those who have always wanted to fly into space. …
If all goes according to plan, the New Shepard rocket and capsule will hit the road in 11 minutes, launching and landing outside Van Horn, Texas at Blue Origin’s Launch Site One facilities. The rocket will deliver the spacecraft on a suborbital trajectory prior to separation, allowing the crew to descend in their capsule under parachutes to land on the ground. The start is scheduled for 9 am ET (13:00 GMT).
You can watch the historic first launch of the Blue Origin astronaut here and at BlueOrigin.com. The webcast begins at 7:30 am ET (11:30 GMT).
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The 82-year-old crew member Wally Funk has waited the longest for a flight. The Mercury 13 pilot tried to join NASA’s astronaut corps six decades ago, but was expelled due to her gender and lack of military experience in an era when American women were excluded from military pilots. The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, did not enter orbit until 1983.
When Funk was asked in CBS interview On Monday (July 19), about how she’s been waiting since she turned twenty, Funk joked that she still feels like 24. Indeed, the eighty-year-old woman said she plans to do “somersaults and somersaults and do whatever I have learned to do” during 19,600 flight hours on Earth.
Bezos created Blue Origin in 2000 to pursue a childhood dream of space travel. At a young age, he decided to become a wealthy entrepreneur to finance his path to astronaut, and grew rich by founding e-commerce giant Amazon in 1995.
“People say they go to space [and] that they come back changed; astronauts always talk about it, “Bezos told NBC Today on Monday.” I can’t wait to see what this does to me, “added the longtime businessman.
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Citing the “viewing effect” that some astronauts say they experience when they look at the Earth from above, Bezos said he expects to see “a thin edge of the Earth’s atmosphere and see how fragile the planet is, that it is just one planet.” “
Bezos’s brother Mark, a venture capitalist and volunteer firefighter, told CBS that he still doesn’t believe he has such a rare opportunity that “your big brother loves.”
He added: “I fell in love with space, with its promise, with its adventures. I am so excited to be there and to represent my mom, dad and our sister Christina, and also to support Jeff. this dream of a lifetime, this is a real honor. “
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Rounding out the team is 18-year-old Oliver Daman, whose father (Somerset Capital Partners CEO Jos Daman) financed the trip with an undisclosed amount. Daman has been working on his pilot’s license and has been interested in space since the age of four.
Daman appeared on the team at the last minute after the auction winner, who successfully bid $ 28 million for a seat on the maiden flight, was unable to seize the opportunity due to a scheduling conflict. As the runner-up contender, Oliver switched to the flight that was planned for the second crew.
When asked by CBS how he is feeling, Daemen said that while it has been difficult to fall asleep lately due to the anticipation, “the excitement just beats the nervousness,” and he can’t wait to go into space.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.