Jeff Bezos, who recently stepped down as CEO of Amazon, is set to launch into space on Tuesday aboard New Shepard, a suborbital launch vehicle built by his company Blue Origin for space tourism. Bezos will be joined by his brother Mark Bezos, 82-year old American aviator Wally Funk, and an 18-year-old student from The Netherlands named Oliver Daemen.
The crewed flight will commence at 09:00 EDT, during which the rocket will lift off from Blue Origin's launch site near Van Horn, Texas, if the weather permits. The capsule carrying the four passengers will then separate from its boosters at approximately 47 miles above and the rocket will land on its legs around 2 miles from the launch pad. The capsule will continue its flight upwards until it reaches the top of its flight path before the capsule parachutes back to the desert (via BBC).
It's worth noting that Funk and Daemen will be the oldest and youngest person, respectively, who will launch into space. Daemen is the son of Joes Daemen who founded Dutch private equity firm Somerset Capital Partners. Funk was among a group of women who went through screening tests alongside male astronauts in the 1960s, although she wasn't chosen to fly into space at that time.
The space flight will be available to watch via livestream on Blue Origin's YouTube channel (see video below). You can also witness Bezos' space voyage through the company's website by clicking this link.
Blue Origin first announced the space launch in June through a video uploaded to Instagram. New Shepard's maiden crewed voyage marks the company's growing interest in the space tourism market.
Bezos is not the first billionaire to blast into space, however, after Virgin Galactic's Unity 22 mission launched into space early last week, carrying its founder Richard Branson and three Virgin Galactic employees Beth Moses, Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandla.