When you’re the richest man on the planet, you can pretty much do what you want to do.
Jeff Bezos will be flying to space on the first crewed flight of the New Shepard, the rocket ship made by his space company, Blue Origin. The flight is scheduled for July 20th, just 15 days after he is set to resign as CEO of Amazon.
Blue Origin said Bezos’ younger brother, Mark Bezos, will also join the flight.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space,” Bezos, 57, said in a Monday morning Instagram post. “On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram. “It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me.”
The New Shepard ― named for Alan Shepard, the first American in space ― features a six-seat capsule and 59-foot rocket. It has flown 15 successful consecutive missions to space and back, according to Blue Origin.
The first crewed flight will span 11 minutes and reach more than 60 miles above Earth, reported CNN.
Besides the Bezos brothers, the winning bidder in an auction will also take one of the seats on the 11-minute trip to suborbital space, reaching an altitude of about 60 miles. The auction will benefit a Blue Origin foundation promoting math and science education. As of this morning, the high bid was $2.8 million, Blue Origin said.
On July 5, Jeff Bezos will pass the Amazon CEO baton to Andy Jassy and assume the title of executive chairman. He is expected to remain active in the business he founded in 1994, but Blue Origin is a company he has identified as a likely outlet for his energy in the years to come. Blue Origin aims to commercialize space travel, with a combination of tourism and transport of materials for NASA.
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