People often go on vacations after they retire. But a vacation to space? Jeff Bezos will be among the first to ride on a Blue Origin tourism rocket on July 20th, just two weeks after he steps down from his longtime role as Amazon CEO.
Launching in the reusable New Shepherd rocket from a remote location near El Paso, Jeff Bezos’ space vacation will take only 10 minutes. He and his crew will enjoy about three minutes of weightlessness while looking out at the edge of space—a small taste of what real astronauts go through (with a lot less risk).
While the New Shepherd rocket can technically fit six passengers, its first tourism flight will only hold three people—Jeff Bezos, his younger brother Mark, and the winner of a charity auction that ends Saturday, June 12. Proceeds from the auction, currently at $2.8 million, will go to Club for the Future (an education foundation run by Blue Origin).
Funny enough, Blue Origin is holding this first tourist flight on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It’s clearly a landmark in commercial space flight, which may explain Bezos’ enthusiasm for the experience. After all, he’s openly dreamed of going to space for several years.
While Blue Origin’s first tourism flight is exciting, it will take a long time for such programs to become affordable for the average person. We’ll have to live vicariously through the wealthy and famous until then (or thank our lucky stars that we’re not the guinea pigs for commercial space flight).
Source: Blue Origin via AP