Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is about to go on a rocket ride to the edge of space.
The billionaire businessman will take the trip in a reusable suborbital rocket built by Blue Origin, the private space company set up by Bezos in 2000.
The mission will launch from Blue Origin’s facility in West Texas and is slated for Tuesday, July 20. The event will mark the rocket’s first launch with a crew on board and its 16th overall.
Blue Origin will stream the entire event in real time. Check below for details on how to watch.
Bezos will head skyward inside a capsule atop a New Shepard rocket. Joining him for the ride will be his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Wally Funk who at 82 is set to become the oldest person to travel to space, and 18-year-old Dutchman Oliver Daemen who at 18 will become the youngest person to achieve the same feat.
The crew of four will fly as far as the Kármán line about 62 miles up, a point widely considered as the edge of space. There they’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking views of Earth while floating about inside the capsule for several minutes in microgravity conditions.
The Bezos brothers, Funk and Daemen will then return to their seats for a parachute-assisted landing near the launch site. The entire experience, from lift-off to touchdown, will last around 10 minutes.
Viewers will be able to see the rocket launch, the moment the capsule separates from the rocket, the rocket’s return, footage from inside the capsule, and the crew’s return inside the capsule.
While the mission will be fulfilling a childhood dream for Bezos to go to space, the flight will also act as a test for Blue Origin’s commercial space tourism service that will offer high-paying passengers the trip of a lifetime.
#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
How to watch
Blue Origin is planning to launch the New Shepard rocket at 8 a.m. CT (6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, July 20.
A livestream showing the entire event will start at 6:30 a.m. CT (4:30 a.m. PT/7:30 a.m. ET) and can be viewed at Blue Origin’s website or via the video player that will appear at the top of this page.
Shortly after the capsule returns to Earth, the four crew members will hold a press conference that will also be livestreamed.
Blue Origin’s mission comes just over a week after Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson flew to the edge of space aboard a rocket-powered plane ahead of the launch of another space tourism service that’s set to launch in 2022.
The two companies are expected to compete fiercely for customers.