NY Times - Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos, will launch a rocket into space with passengers on board for the first time in July, the company said on Wednesday.
One seat on the flight, which will carry six astronauts on a short jaunt to the edge of outer space, is up for auction.
The first astronaut flight of New Shepard, a suborbital spacecraft, is scheduled for July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
“We’ve spent years testing, so we’re ready,” Ariane Cornell, director of astronaut sales for Blue Origin, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Mr. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, also started Blue Origin in 2000. Like other billionaires who have invested in spaceflight, he has stated broad goals for humanity’s expansion around the solar system, imagining millions of people eventually living and working in space.
For July’s crewed launch, astronauts will arrive to the launch site in West Texas four days before their flight for safety training, Ms. Cornell said.
At about 47 miles, or 250,000 feet, the capsule carrying the passengers will separate from its booster. Soon after, the astronauts will get to unbuckle and experience weightlessness for about three minutes before returning to earth, Ms. Cornell said. The vehicle is fully pressurized, so passengers won’t need to wear spacesuits or helmets.
Ms. Cornell declined to comment on the other passengers who would be aboard the July 20 flight. The bidding for the sixth seat, which began on Wednesday, will conclude with a live auction on June 12.
So many questions on this whole thing besides the obvious, "how much would you pay to take a trip up to space and back with 5 mystery people?"
How much is a selfie of you with planet Earth behind you in the cockpit window worth? Or the story?
Because that's what this is. A solo seat aboard the first commercial flight is nothing but a flex.
If you could fill this thing with your best friends or wife and kids that's a different story.
But you know this is going to be Evil Lord Bezos and his mistress, and two of their villain buddies like Boris and Natasha.
With the 5th person probably being the gimp they all share.
Then there would be little old you.
What the fuck do you think that situation would feel like? Ever been the third person on a chair lift that gets stuck and the two other people are total yuppy dickheads who act like you're invisible? Or a third wheel on a date with two people infatuated with each other where all three of you know you're not wanted? That's this on steroids.
No faking a phone call or text that you have an emergency or need to leave.
You're literally trapped in a spaceship out in outer space.
Also, I know everybody is thinking this will just be some billionaire asshole in his 60s checking off a bucket list item so he'll have more in common with Bezos than an average schlub like one of us. But you're wrong because there's actually a pretty legit screening process as to who qualifies to go to space-
This is some tough shit.
Who the fuck is capable of pulling 5.5 G's, meeting the height and weight requirements, AND not doesn't have a fear of heights?
And, who has the funds?
I think we all know the answer.
p.s. - I saw Bezos in person a couple years ago at the Super Bowl in Miami. It was after the monsoon wiped out of Barstool Rough n Rowdy Blackout Tour party. We went to Liv to try to salvage the night and not want to hang ourselves. Tiesto was playing and there in his DJ booth along with Skrillex, Grutman, and some other big swinging dicks was Bezos. He had a button down on with a Patagonia vest looking just like a hedge fund manager, sipping red wine out of nice stemware along with Tiesto. (Tiesto only has red wine on his rider). His bald head was shiny as fuck and he had a permanent grin on his face the entire time he was there. I guess anybody worth the money he is would probably also. He was super short and I was shocked he didn't have ten bodyguards surrounding him. Though I'm sure they were hiding in plain site all around him strapped to the teeth. Wasn't anything special about it, just felt like seeing Magneto in real life. And that's my story about the time I saw Jeff Bezos in person.