If all goes as planned, Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos, 57, will soon become the world’s first space billionaire. Okay, maybe that makes it sound like he’ll live there. That isn’t the case — at least not yet.
After all, Bezos’ announcement of his pending trip into the cosmos made it sound like he might be okay with that. In an Instagram post published Monday (see above), Bezos wrote, “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space.”
“On July 20th,” the caption continued, “I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend.”
CNN has more:
If all goes according to plan, Bezos — he world’s richest person with a net worth of $187 billion — will be the first of the billionaire space tycoons to experience a ride aboard the rocket technology that he’s poured millions into developing.
Not even Elon Musk, whose SpaceX builds rockets powerful enough to enter orbit around Earth, has announced plans to travel to space aboard one of his companies human-worthy crew capsules.
British billionaire Richard Branson, whose own space company, Virgin Galactic, is planning on conducting flights to suborbital space for ultra-wealthy thrill seekers and competing directly with Blue Origin. Branson has long said he would be among the first passengers aboard Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered plane, but that flight is expected to take place later in 2021.
This first human flight in Blue Origin‘s six-seat New Shepard capsule will actually shoot to the very edge of space, CNN reports. The flight is expected to last 11 minutes and reach an altitude of 60 miles.
According to BlueOrigin.com, New Shepard was named “after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space,” and it is a “reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line – the internationally recognized boundary of space.”
The Kármán line is named after Hungarian-American physicist Theodore von Kármán, who wrote that at 57 miles above the Earth, the relationship between aerodynamic lift and centrifugal force flips, “because there is no longer any air to contribute lift: only centrifugal force prevails.”
According to Kármán, that line marks the border between air “owned” by nations and “free space.”
Blue Origin is auctioning one seat on New Shepard to the highest bidder, and the latest bidding as of Monday morning was climbing toward $3 million.
While Bezos has mentioned his interest in space many times — it’s worth noting he always traced it to age 5, and that would’ve been 1969 for the billionaire, the year man first set foot on the Moon — he has never really addressed making the trip himself till now.
Bezos has also indicated his interest in space is in part based on his fear that “we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which” he says he finds “very demoralizing.”
It’s hard to disagree with his point, but perhaps someone in his orbit will let Jeff Bezos know it’s okay to admit he’s taking this ride because it’s fun, too.
The Bezos brothers and four other lucky folks take off for the edge of infinity on July 20, 2021.